Argentina's privatization program: experience, issues, and by Myrna Alexander, Carlos Corti, World Bank

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By Myrna Alexander, Carlos Corti, World Bank

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Extra resources for Argentina's privatization program: experience, issues, and lessons, Page 93

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Government business enterprisesArgentina.  International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 982dc20 93-31978 CIP Page v Abstract Argentina's privatization program was characterized by its scope, speed, and breadth, as well as by the intensity of World Bank support. Between 1990 and the end of 1992, the government closed or sold virtually all of its public enterprises. Its main tactic was to establish new corporations as separate business units spun off from the state-owned companies; the latter were either to own the public enterprises' assets or to have the right to operate them under long-term concession agreements.

A new federal port law, approved by the congress in June 1992, provides for deregulation, demonopolization, and decentralization of port facilities. The rights for smaller ports have passed to the provinces while concession rights to operate major grain ports, Bahia Blanca and Quequen, have been let to a consortium of operators and rural associations. The concession for the Buenos Aires port will be awarded once the port has been divided into three separate Page 9 business units. Simultaneously, the government is in the process of concessioning the management, signaling, and dredging of the Parana/Delta river basin for a 460-kilometer channel from Santa Fe to the river mouth.

In line with this reform, the government will limit itself to power planning, granting concessions, coordinating a national power dispatch center, and setting overall electric policies. Privatization started in 1990 with the decision to sell SEGBA, which provides electricity service for greater Buenos Aires. The company split into a series of generation and distribution companies. Thermal plants (more than 85 percent of the company's installed capacity) were sold and 95-year concessions let for power distribution, dividing greater Buenos Aires between two new companies, with a third for the La Plata area.

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