Republika Srpska’s railways are entering the final phase of the restructuring process.
According to the Bankruptcy Law, the District Commercial Court in Doboj will define the manner of settlement of obligations. About 200 million KM of debt serviced by the Government of Srpska so far should be resolved by recapitalization, which would make the Government the owner of 99 percent of the Railways.
Srpska Railways has no debts to workers and suppliers. However, about KM 200 million is recorded as debt for investments, which cannot be serviced by this company. In the coming months, the competent court should determine how to meet these obligations, thereby opening up the possibility for Railways to convert debt to equity. The government would thus increase its ownership stake in the Railways to around 99 percent.
– The restructuring process has just been introduced in order to convert debts into equity and to make the state as a percentage responsible for settling that part. This would keep the Railways out of debt – pointed out Slavko Gligorić.
The small shareholders, which currently hold about 21 percent of the shares, would, according to Railways, be settled through the restructuring process. The number of workers in this process should be reduced to 2098 by the end of 2020. The Company’s management points out that no one will be laid off but that they will be treated according to the law.
For the second year in a row, Srpske Railways operates at a profit. This, the administration says, is the result of a restructuring process, that is, a World Bank loan and increased transportation of goods and passengers.
– The first 11 months ended with a profit of KM 1,212,351 – said Slobodan Kaurinović, Assistant General Director for Economic Affairs.
Željko Radić, Executive Director of Transportation Operations, stated that the increase in the plan of goods was planned.
– We have a total revenue of 1.40 percent in the transport of goods and in the transport of passengers we have an increase of 120 percent – added Kaurinović.
The recapitalization will not complete the investment in the ZRS. The government intends to invest around KM 800 million in the development of the domestic operator from 2021 to 2025, which would enable the RS Railways to compete in the market.