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The privatisation of Czech gas utility Transgas -- responsible for supply, distribution and transit -- is on schedule, say government sources. Germany's Ruhrgas and Gaz de France are both interested in a 97pc stake in the firm, which the government is likely to sell between May and August.
The biggest attraction for foreign investors is the role Transgas plays in the transmission of Russian gas to western Europe. The Brotherhood pipeline from Russia splits in the Czech Republic to enter Germany at Waidhaus, in Bavaria, and Sayda, on the former east German border.
Western ownership of the firm "would mean cheaper gas for customers of Czech transit gas, and …