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Argentina Will Turn Oil, Steel Firms Private

February 05, 1986|Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland — Argentina plans to begin returning petrochemical and steel companies to the private sector this year, Under Secretary of Finance Juan Sommer said Tuesday.

He said a list of companies will be issued in the near future.

Sommer said the planned sale to private owners will have a "profound effect" on the overall industrial structure of the country.

He told a meeting of businessmen in this Swiss town that the privatization would also shift some of the country's foreign debt from the public to the private sector.

At present, Sommer said, almost 90% of the $48-billion debt is in the hands of the public sector. He declined to estimate the proceeds of the sales.

Ubaldo Aguirre, Argentina's financial representative in Europe, said more than a dozen companies could be involved.

Aguirre also said some mining companies related to the steel industry may also be sold to the private sector.

Sommer said a list of companies to be sold will be announced "in the next few days" in Buenos Aires.

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