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Georgian Privatization Plan Not Bringing In Expected Money

TBILISI -- The Georgian government's plan to raise some 170 million laris ($92.3 million) this year by privatizing state property is unlikely to be realized, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

The Economy Ministry said that during the first six months of this year the sale of government property yielded 36 million laris.

The ministry claimed that despite the low amount of money earned, the goal of the privatization plan was more than fulfilled because 36 properties were sold instead of a planned 35. Ministry officials added that a further $12 million was raised in privatization deals in July.

That sum was boosted by the sale of one enterprise for almost twice the asking price. Other buildings, including a prestigious former publishing house in downtown Tbilisi priced at $12 million, are failing to attract buyers.

In a bid to attract investors, the government is mulling selling minority stakes in state companies, including a 25 percent stake in the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation on the London Stock Exchange.