BUCHAREST, Sept 18 Shares in Romanian
restitution fund Fondul Proprietatea lost 1 percent on
Thursday, reversing some of the previous session's gains when
they hit a record high.
Fondul's gains on Wednesday were largely driven by talk it
had hired Goldman Sachs and Erste Bank to help unload shares it
holds in top oil and gas group Petrom,
majority-controlled by Austria's OMV.
The 3.4 billion euro ($4.4 billion) Fondul, set up to
compensate Romanians whose assets were seized under communism,
holds minority stakes in a slew of state firms and has sold
shares in gas producer Romgaz and power and gas grid
operators Transelectrica and Transgaz.
In May last year, the fund, which is managed by Franklin
Templeton, sold a 1 percent stake in Petrom at a 12 percent
But a source close to the issue told Reuters on Thursday no
mandate to sell further Petrom shares had been given yet.
Fondul owns a 19 percent stake in Petrom, valued at more
than 1 billion euros. In March, it said it was considering
lowering its holding in the company to below 15 percent but
offered no clear timetable for the plan.
"We announced in March that ... we are analyzing our
strategic options to potentially lower our participation,"
Templeton's Fondul manager Grzegorz Konieczny said.
"When new material developments related to this transaction
appear we will communicate them."
Fondul shares fell 1 percent to 0.9310 lei ($0.273) per
share on Thursday, after touching an all-time high of 0.9480 lei
in the previous session.
It has been buying back its own shares in a bid to narrow
the discount between its net asset value and its stock price,
which stood at roughly 30 percent at the end of August.
(1 US dollar = 0.7741 euro)
(1 US dollar = 3.4106 Romanian lei)
(Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Luiza Ilie; editing by