Romania to sell stake in nuclear plant operator

Romania will sell a 10 percent stake in Nuclearelectrica, the company that operates a nuclear power plant in Cernavoda, the government said Wednesday.

The sale is one of Romania's commitments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU), which have provided Bucharest with up to 25 billion euros in emergency credit.

The IPO should bring Romania between 300 and 350 million lei ($91 to 107 million), energy minister Constantin Nita said.

Romania has pledged to international lenders to sell stakes in leading energy and transport companies as a means to attract investment and make them profitable.

In April the government sold a 15 percent stake in the natural gas distributor Transgaz, raising $94.9 million (72 million euros).

It now plans to sell stakes in gas producer Romgaz, the Oltenia energy plant and the electricity company Hidroelectrica.

Deadlines for these sales have been repeatedly renegotiated with the IMF since Romanian authorities failed to keep to the initial timetable.

The IMF insists that the sale of big, loss-making transport and energy companies will spur economic growth, which is expected to reach 1.5 percent in 2013, up from 0.7 percent last year.

Romania concluded a 20-billion-euro bailout deal with the IMF and the EU in 2009 in exchange for strict austerity measures.

It hopes to obtain from the IMF a new credit line, to be drawn upon only in case of emergency, once the current 3.5 billion euro ($4.7 billion) facility lapses at the end of this month.