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Estonian Cabinet Approves EU127.7 Mln Dividend From State Firms

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Estonia’s government approved a dividend payout totaling 127.7 million euros ($167.9 million) from state-owned companies into this year’s budget, up from 88 million euros last year, Finance Minister Juergen Ligi said.

Eesti Energia AS, Estonia’s biggest utility, would contribute 65 million euros, while Tallinna Sadam AS, the country’s main port operator, would pay out 44 million euros, Ligi told a news conference in the capital Tallinn today.

“Even if the government has committed to capital increases in these companies, like in Eesti Energia, this is for new projects, while the old projects still need to generate revenue,” Ligi said.

The government of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip is targeting a budget deficit of 2.1 percent of gross domestic product this year, the first gap in three years. The Cabinet has pledged a capital injection of 150 million euros to Eesti Energia from this year’s budget to help finance the company’s investment plan totaling about 1.5 billion euros until 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at oummelas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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