Algerian energy industry to spearhead privatization

Companies in Algeria's energy industry have been put forward by the country's Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil to spearhead its 'privatization drive' on the Algiers Stock Exchange (ASE), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' news agency, OPECNA, reported today.


Companies in Algeria's energy industry have been put forward by the country's Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil to spearhead its "privatization drive" on the Algiers Stock Exchange (ASE), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' news agency, OPECNA, reported today.

In a joint press conference held in Algiers with Algeria's Minister of Finance Abdelatif Benachenhou and Minister of Economic Reform Hamid Temmar, Khelil announced the privatization of the energy firms, saying they were he "ideal candidates" to lead the development of the ASE.

According to OPECNA, Khelil's "plea for an acceleration of economic reforms" was supported by Benachenhou, who said the implementation should take place in the "shortest possible time."

Khelil remarked that the 20 foreign oil and companies now operating in Algeria were together responsible for 25% of the country's hydrocarbon production, a figure he expected would eventually rise above 50%, and were "creating jobs, tax revenues for the government, and boosting economic activity."

Algeria's energy companies will join the 101 state-owned firms that are to take part in the upcoming privatization "exercise." The aim is to test the viability of economic "mechanisms" including total asset sales, and concessions or management contracts.

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