Some 5,6 billion shares the Economy Ministry holds in Romanian oil company Petrom were transferred to the Proprietatea Fund, a fund aimed at compensating Romanians for properties confiscated by the former Communist regime, according to a Petrom press release on Tuesday.

The Ministry will thus control 17.2 shares, meaning 30.74% of its stock, while the Proprietatea Fund will control 9.99% of the company.

The move comes as the Proprietatea Fund has drawn considerable criticism in the media for sitting on stocks in various companies of least interest for investors. The OMV-controlled Petrom announcement comes as a boon for the Fund, as the oil company is seen as one of the most profitable companies in the country.

The Fund was created last year and became operational on December 29, 2005.

In privinta structurii actionariatului Petrom, pana la efectuarea acestui transfer, aceasta se prezenta astfel: 51% dintre actiuni detinute de OMV, 40,74% detinute de statul roman, 2,03%- Banca Europeana de Reconstructie si Dezvoltare si 6,23% - actionarii minoritari.