October 7, 2013 / 1:02 PM / 4 years ago

Bosnian smelter lists shares after rescue deal

SARAJEVO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Bosnia’s sole aluminium smelter and top exporter Aluminij Mostar has listed its shares, opening the way for trade in the stock after a rescue deal for the major employer and mainstay of the economy.

The company was able to list its shares after a new ownership structure was registered by the securities commission in September. That ended a 17-year-old dispute dating back to the end of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

All the company’s 190,110 shares were listed on the bourse at a nominal value of 1,000 Bosnian marka ($695.4) each, the Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SASE)said in a statement.

Aluminij’s operations in the southern Mostar area employ 900 people directly and thousands more indirectly. It accounts for half of metals sector output, which in turn provides more than half of the country’s national output.

In June, the government of Bosnia’s autonomous Muslim-Croat federation and Aluminij shareholders agreed to each take a 44 percent stake in the firm. The Croatian government has the remaining 12 percent stake.

After the war, the management of the previously state-run smelter distributed shares to its mainly Bosnian Croat employees in compensation for unpaid wages and sold a 12 percent stake to Croatian aluminium processor TLM.

The federation, one of Bosnia’s two post-war regions where the smelter is located, had disagreed with the distribution of shares, leading to the long dispute. ($1= 1.438 Bosnian marka) (Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and Patrick Lannin)

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