The OPCOM to be listed on the BSE starting in autumn?

ANA ZIDARU, ALINA TOMA (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 10 iulie 2014

The OPCOM to be listed on the BSE starting in autumn?

Shares of Transelectrica have risen vertiginously lately

FP wants to sell its stake in Transelectrica

The Romanian authorities may have decided to take the OPCOM - the operator of the Romanian energy exchange - public on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, starting this very autumn, as they are being pressured by the IMF to implement the plan to diversify the OPCOM's shareholder structure. The OPCOM is 100% owned by "Transelectrica" SA, which is the national energy transmission system operator in Romania.

Our sources are saying: "For now, it has not yet been decided what percentage of the shares of the OPCOM will be sold on the stock exchange. Because the operator of the Energy Exchange will be spun off from Transelectrica and transferred under the control of the Department for Energy, the plan involves a symmetric split, followed by the capital increase through the IPO. The actual transfer of the OPCOM under the control of the Department will take place after the listing".

Our sources are saying that the share capital increase would be necessary because Transelectrica has financed the acquisition of trading platforms for the OPCOM. Since these platforms must enter the patrimony of the OPCOM, they were reevaluated to allow making a decision on the size of the capital increase, according to the quoted sources. The situation has generated tensions, as the aforementioned sources say, because many people want for these shares in the OPCOM to be distributed to all the shareholders of Transelectrica in line with their holdings.

According to a note by the management of Transelectrica SA, obtained by BURSA, the platforms have been evaluated at approximately 23 million lei, and the directorate of the Company proposes to the Board of Directors the increase of the capital of the OPCOM through a contribution in kind from Transelectrica, as well as the initiation of the steps necessary to allow the diversification of the shareholder structure of the OPCOM, following the increase of the capital through contributions in cash and in kind of the national electricity carrier.

There are also some voices that say that the authorities are also considering the option of restricting access to the OPCOM shareholder structure. In other words, the state might make an offer (private placement) to transport operators in the region, as well as to suppliers and distributors of energy on the Romanian and regional energy market, in order to grow the OPCOM into a strong energy hub, according to some sources. Thus, a large part of the OPCOM would go to the Romanian and foreign operators from the energy market and only a small part would be available to all the investors, through the listing on the BSE.

One year ago there was a rumor making the rounds that the state may become a shareholder in the BSE through the OPCOM.

Shares of Transelectrica have seen a blazing rise

It is not out of the question that the information about the future of the OPCOM has traveled through select market circles, if we were to look at the explosive rise of the stock of its parent company in the last few months.

Since the beginning of the year, the shares of TEL have risen more than 40%, reaching 21.99 lei/share, yesterday, with the accelerated rise starting at the end of March.

Even though there have been some brokers who though that there are real reasons behind the recent move in the price of the stock of Transelectrica, such as the very good results it posted for 2013 and the dividends it has approved or the interest from foreigners, others have said that the gain has exceeded all expectations.

Market voices have said that the Financial Oversight Authority has received a notification about the evolution of the stock of TEL. The ASF did not respond to the enquiry of BURSA on whether it has begun an investigation of the trades in question.

When looking at the general picture, one should also take into account the praise of the managers of "Transelectrica" made by the Proprietatea Fund in the beginning of the year, as well as the intention of the Fund to make its exit from the company.

At the end of March, Grzegorz Konieczny, the Manager of the Proprietatea Fund, said he was very pleased with the dividend proposed by Transelectrica.

Yesterday, the Proprietatea Fund (FP) has put up for sale the stake of 13.49% in Transelectrica, through a private offer addressed only to selected investors, according to a report.

Back in May, BURSA reported that the Proprietatea Fund had given a mandate to a brokerage firm to look for buyers for its stake in TEL, according to several sources in the market.

Last year, the Proprietatea Fund sold all of the shares it had in Trans­gaz, for 303.51 million lei (68.2 million Euros) in a private placement.

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