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Analyst remains critical of Lithuanian Telecom advisers

  • 2000-05-25
VILNIUS (BNS) - Margarita Starkeviciute, a prominent Lithuanian
financial analyst, reiterated criticism towards the government's
advisers on the privatization of Lietuvos Telekomas on May 17.

A consortium led by the investment banks Dresdner Kleinwort and CA IB
is advising the government on the sale of its remaining 35 percent
stake in LT scheduled for June 12.

"Foreign governments that run privatization tenders should be informed
about the tactics these foreign advisers used in the privatization of
Lietuvos Telekomas, so that they could decide whether it is worth while
hiring them for similar work in their countries," Starkeviciute said.

Earlier the analyst pointed out that potential investors, and the
Lithuanian retail investors in particular, lacked information about the
telecommunications company and the share offering itself. On May 17
Starkeviciute said her opinion of the LT privatization process remained
unchanged after the advisers provided answers into her critical
remarks.

"CA IB representative's explanation of the telecom share privatization
procedure seems to suggest that the distribution of the telecom shares
will depend solely on foreign advisers' personal opinion," the analyst
said.

"Such privatization procedure creates conditions for advisers to abuse
[their position] as decisions on the share distribution will be made
behind closed doors," she added.

The delay in releasing LT's financial data may scare some investors
away, or even reduce the demand for shares and the selling price,
Starkeviciute said.