We hope to get the result of valuation by March."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Sudirman Said an evaluating team is will determine the share price of Freeport Indonesia.

"I would not comment on the price . There are experts for that," the minister said in reply to a question here on Thursday.

He said the government has asked for expert opinions of two state owned securities companies PT Danarakesa and PT Mandiri Sekuritas.

"Let us rely on them as they have accountable methods of evaluation," he said.

He said the ESDM ministry would take part in looking for an appraiser, ADDING, "We would wait for the result of evaluation by the two valuers named by the BUMN minister Rini Soemarno."

"We hope to get the result of valuation by March," he added.

PT Freeport Indonesia, which has large copper and gold mines in Papua, already set the price for 10.64 percent stake it is to divest this year at Rp23 trillion (US$1.7 billion).

Rini, however, said the price is too high especially as the prices of the commodities produced by the U.S. company are on the decline.

Sudirman said Freeport has not given dividends to its shareholders in the past three years on shrini8king profit.

Whether the dividends would be paid or not depending on the decision in the shareholders meeting, he said.

Acquisition of the 10.64 percent stake would give the government significant voting power of 20 percent, he said.

Currently the government has 9.36 percent stake in Freeport.

Freeport is required under its contract to divest 30 percent of its shares to the government or Indonesian companies named by the government.

Divestment is to be made by phases -- 20 percent this year and the rest in 2019.

This year divestment is only 10.64 percent as the government already has 9.36 percent stake in the subsidiary of the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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