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Hungary: World Bank Loan To Aid Privatization

Washington, 13 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Hungary will launch a final enterprise and bank privatization program with a new loan approved yesterday by the World Bank.

The loan for $225 million will support the adoption of a new privatization law mandating the divestiture of 80 percent of the remaining state holdings in the enterprise sector. It will also launch a sweeping privatization through which a major share of state holdings in gas and electric power distribution, oil and telecommunications companies, will be divested.

Banking reforms will include the privatization of four major banks which will put about 80 percent of Hungary's banks in private hands.

World Bank project manager Ilham Zurayk says the loan will help Hungary remove the final impediments to lasting economic growth.