UPDATE 1-Serbia expects bigger bid for Telekom stake, eight firms interested

miércoles 12 de agosto de 2015 09:15 GYT

* Serbia offering 58 percent stake in biggest telecom provider

* PM: expects more than previous 1.1 bln euro bid for 51 pct stake

* Investment funds, U.S. firms among suitors (Updates with minister, details)

By Ivana Sekularac

BELGRADE, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Serbia said on Wednesday it had received eight non-binding bids for a majority stake in its biggest telecom provider and that it expected the sale to reap more than the 1.1 billion euros offered and rejected four years ago.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is trying to cash in on Telekom Srbija, one of the country's most profitable state enterprises, under a drive to reduce the state's footprint on the economy.

Rasim Ljajic, Serbia's minister of telecommunications, trade and tourism, said the government had received eight bids and would name those that met the tender's conditions next week.

A previous government tried to sell 51 percent of Telekom in 2011 but ended up rejecting a 1.1 billion euro ($1.23 billion) bid by Telekom Austria as too low.

The current government is offering a 58 percent stake in the company, which is a majority stakeholder in Bosnia's second-largest telecom operator, Telekom Srpske, and controls Montenegrin mobile operator M:Tel.   Continuación...