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Profit for the state: not even EUR6 million from 278 companies, overseen by 220 AAAS employees

de Razvan Diaconu 19.12.2016

 

aaas-300x231The situation of the companies monitored or managed by the State Asset Administration Authority (AAAS) – the successor of former post-communist institutions in charge of privatisation – was most often described by lack of transparency. An unsurprising attitude if we look at the results of its activity – according to the analysis that was the subject of an unanswered interpellation of PNL Deputy Andreea Paul.

On its website, AAAS describes itself as “the Romanian reference institution in the field of administration / sale of state owned shares and receivables recovery, with more than 20-year experience“, having a portfolio of 278 companies with the state either major or minority shareholder.

Profit for the state: not even EUR6 million from 278 entities

Up-to-date statistics show that there is not much reason to maintain public financing for this entity, under whose authority:

  • 18 companies have not yet submitted their balance sheet for 2015
  • 123 companies registered losses worth almost 250 million lei in 2015
  • 136 companies registered a total profit of almost 294 million lei
  • nearly half the surplus is hypothetical and the budget never received it: the Authority retains 20.7 million lei as operating expenditures

Water brings highest profits

Some conclusions from a reply that the PNL Deputy Andreea Paul recently received from AAAS, as she wanted to find out from an authorized source the situation of the state-owned enterprises:

  • The 278 companies where AAAS is shareholder registered in 2015 a cumulative surplus of almost 45 million lei, in the context that 18 of them have not yet submitted their balance sheets. Almost half of that surplus equals told the AAAS operating expenses amounting to 20.7 million in 2016 for its 220 employees.
  • The biggest losses have been recorded by the companies Sometra (89.7 million lei), Media Pro Studios from Buftea (30.5 million lei) and Unita Turism Holding based in Timisoara (27.3 million lei). The losses of these three companies represent more than a half of the total losses recorded, namely 59% of the companies where AAAS is shareholder.
  • The highest profits have been recorded by the companies Romaqua Group (Borsec) with a profit in 2015 of almost 47 million lei, Zaharul (Oradea) with a profit of 38.6 million lei, Cimcomplex Borzesti with 13 million lei, Imotrust with 8.5 million lei and Ropharma/Iassyfarma with 7.9 million lei in 2015. The profits of the first 3 companies represent 33% of all recorded surpluses.

AAAS: A useful institution in all political regimes

Politics has always found options for preserving this institution that proves low efficiency, with responsibilities largely overlapping with those of the Ministries of Economy and Finance.

The authority that today employs 220 people “with expertise in the legal field, insolvency, management and financial analysis” is actually the successor of the State Ownership Fund (1991-2000), successively renamed between 2000 and 2012: APAPS, AVAB and AVAS.

The situation of the companies monitored or managed by AAAS, founded in 2012, was mostly characterized by dysfunctions and excessive politicisation.

This reality was subject of a parliamentary inquiry on the “situation of state companies” that the PNL Deputy Andreea Paul addressed on 29 November to four key state institutions:

  • Ministry of Public Finance
  • State Asset Administration Authority
  • Ministry of Economy
  • Ministry of Energy

“I am confident that many of the loss-making companies can turn to profit by making procedures transparent, which would not allow political intrusions anymore, including by an efficient monitoring of the performance indicators and the remuneration of the staff appointed to leadership positions within these state companies. AAAS has ignored the third question I have addressed with the inquiry: <<What is the salary of all personnel from leadership positions in these companies?>>, to which I have not received any response from AAAS,“ states Deputy Andreea Paul for cursdeguvernare.ro.

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