The meeting was attended by Minister of Economy, Frank De Lima who explained the government's position in regard to the sale of the shares.
"De Lima focused his presentation on the need for the sale in order to develop the process of electrical interconnection with Colombia, in which the state has to provide capital for $140 million.
This explanation left more doubts among the sectors that converge in the Council, who questioned whether this was the reason that the Government proposed to sell the shares", reported Pa-digital.com.pa
Later, the minister made a clarification to his presentation, noting that the interconnection has not yet been defined and that its realization will depend on the outcome of the upcoming energy tender to be developed.
The draft law which changes the regulatory framework for the provision of electricity includes a proposal to change the way the state sells its investments in in utility companies.
Manuel Brea, in his opinion piece in Prensa.com, detailed arguments supporting the Panamanian government’s justification for the intention to sell its stake, "a) Avoiding conflict of interest, because the State is a partner and regulator at the same time. The State, as a regulator alone, can better achieve its social purpose. b) Encouraging the development of the local securities market, in order to make new investment options available to the public."
The company is aiming to become the majority shareholder of the phone corporation by buying 5% of the shares being sold by the Panamanian government.
The partners of Cable & Wireless (C & W) are on the lookout for a possible sale of the government's shares in the company (49%), in order to acquire 5% more and thus become controlling shareholders with 54% of the company.