Tunisia plans to sell 10 to 15 percent stakes in several state-run banks to raise around 1.3 billion Tunisian dinars ($670 million), Finance Minister Slim Chaker said on Tuesday as the country faces pressure to cut its fiscal deficit.
Tunisia also expects to receive $1 billion in loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund this year, Minister Slim Chaker told a finance conference in Kuwait.
It faces pressure from creditors to cut high public spending, including subsidies on basic foods and fuel, through a series of politically sensitive reforms.
The budget deficit is expected to narrow from 5.8 percent in 2014 to 5 percent in 2015, but that target has been made tougher by salary hikes for tens of thousands of public school teachers who went on strike last month and boycotted student exams to press wage demands.
Public wages account for about a third of the state budget and Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labor union started negotiations with the government last month to increase salaries for some 800,000 workers.