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Kobalia making way to Singapore2011-03-05 20:20
It looks like turning Georgia into Singapore becomes an obsession for its governors. Tbilisi projectors, who have long been living in a virtual reality, are not in the least embarrassed by the true hardships of the Georgian economy. In their work, they are usually guided by the principle that "if something is not allowed but one has a great wish - then it is allowed". It seems the charming Minister of Economy and Sustained Development of Georgia Vera Kobalia also adheres to this principle. It is difficult to think of any other reasons for choosing Singapore as a stock platform to offer the shares of the Georgian Railways.
According to Ambeby agency, different scenarios of the local railway operator privatization have been developed by Vera Kobalia's administration. However, the preference was given to the one that implied offering GRW shares at the Singapore stock exchange. "Despite the fact that we've discussed several variants of selling our railway shares, we decided to choose Singapore", - stated the Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustained Development. Vera Kobalia did not specify why her subordinates chose a tiny East-Asian state as a platform for the Georgian Railway IPO. The size of the parcel of shares offered for sale also remains a secret.
It is not very important in which of the platforms GRW shares will be offered - the long-awaited process will be started at last. Nevertheless, the choice of Singapore sets someone thinking. So far, the interest in the national railway operator of Georgia was displayed only by Americans and Russians. The former were attracted only by GRW bonds, for they minimized the risk of losing the money so long as the investments in a state company's bonds are secured by government guarantees. Thus, one cannot call bonded loans investments. Another point is attracting means into shares but those wishing to invest in the shares of the Georgian railway carrier need to be found.
"Georgian Railway has got great problems. GRW is a very unattractive asset from the point of view of the business. There may be certain political interest here but a free investor who is familiarized with the inner situation in the company will hardly make up his mind to invest money in it", - GeorgiaTimes correspondent was told by economic expert Giorgy Khukhashvili.
Thus, GRW shares present no interest for the stock gamblers. They may attract only a strategic investor's attention. Judging from the objective characteristics of the Georgian asset, only Russian Railways may act as such. This viewpoint is shared by Giorgy Khukhashvili.