The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has called for the privatisation of the Serbian incumbent Telekom Srbija as soon a possible.

Quoted in, Mateo Patrone, the bank’s director, said that financial institutions should not withdraw their shares in the telco.

However, the company also needed a strategic investor that would take a significant stake in it.

Patrone also revealed that the EBRD had already spoken with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic about the privatisation of several Serbian companies, including Telekom Srbija.

Although the EBRD stance on privatisations was “the sooner the better”, it recognised that they should be done in the best possible way, with open tenders in order to maximise the value of the companies.

Patrone added that the EBRD is interested in participating in multiple ways of privatisation, either through the purchase of shares with other investors, funding other investors to buy shares or providing funding for companies for further investment.

He also said that the EBRD already has shares in 39 Serbian companies and stakes of about 25% in two state-owned banks.

Telekom Srbija currently lists the Republic of Serbia as its majority shareholder (58.11%), followed by Telekom Srbija AD (20%), Citizens of the Republic of Serbia (14.95%) and Telekom Srbija and legal predecessor employees and former employees (6.94%).