Romania Picks CFR Marfa Sale Winner to Meet IMF Accord Pledge

Romania selected private railway operator Grup Feroviar Roman SA as the winner in the bidding for rail freight company CFR Marfa SA, meeting a deadline set under the country’s international bailout agreement.

Grup Feroviar Roman offered about 905 million lei ($264 million) for a 51 percent stake by today’s deadline agreed with the International Monetary Fund, Transport Minister Relu Fenechiu told reporters in Bucharest today. The bidder also offered to invest about 900 million lei in the unprofitable company, he said.

The sale of CFR Marfa is part of Romania’s 5 billion-euro ($6.6 billion) precautionary loan agreement with the European Union and the IMF, whose board of directors is scheduled to discuss the country’s progress on June 26. Romania is trying to complete its second accord by the end of June after asking for a three-month extension.

“We’ve completed the actions needed before the IMF board meeting and we’ve shown our commitment, so I’m optimistic about the results,” Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Realitatea TV today. “We can talk about another agreement afterwards, if the European Commission agrees to it.”

The leu lost 0.4 percent to 4.5231 per euro by 7:27 p.m. in Bucharest, weakening for the third day. The benchmark BET stock index fell 0.9 percent to 5,327.66, its biggest decline this month.

Romania raised 315 million lei from the sale of a 15 percent stake in Transgaz SA in April and paid overdue debt to companies, one of the conditions to complete its agreement for the IMF loan, from which it hasn’t drawn any money so far.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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