The majority stock of 69.9% of the Romanian Savings House – CEC will be sold to a financial-banking institution of international reputation or to a consortium of investors that would include such an institution, the Romanian Government announced on Wednesday.

Some 15% of the CEC shares will be sold to former employees or transferred to the Proprietatea Fund, formed last year to compensate Romanians who could not recover properties confiscated by the former Communist regime. The rest will stay under state control.

The Government decision comes after repeated postponements and hesitations over the past year.

The privatization process will develop in three stages, in a similar manner to that of the privatization of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR), according to Government spokesperson Oana Marinescu. The first stage, already over, involved the submission of preliminary non-binding offers.

The second stage will se final, binding offers, while a third phase will see a selection of the best such offers.