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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kyrgyzstan to Push Privatizations

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyzstan will accelerate sell-offs of state-owned companies and restructure some foreign debt to stem its economic crisis, the prime minister of the tiny Central Asian state said.

"We plan to sell controlling stakes in utilities monopoly Kyrgyzenergiya and national carrier Kyrgyzstan Airlines this year," Prime Minister Amangeldy Muraliyev said.

"We expect to receive about 250 million soms [$6 million] from privatizations in 1999," he said late Friday, adding that the government would soon announce results of an international tender for telecommunications company Kyrgyztelekom.

The amount would seem paltry to most states but could make all the difference in this mountainous country where annual per capita income is less than $2,000 f among the lowest in the former Soviet Union.

Muraliyev, 52, has struggled to stabilize the economy since he took office two months ago and pledged to persevere with the reform program that had won Kyrgyzstan plaudits from international lenders.

Kyrgyzstan owes $1.5 billion, more than 100 percent of its gross domestic product, to foreign lenders.