Troubled French media company Vivendi Universal is selling half of its interest in water utility Vivendi Environnement. The shares will be sold by private agreement to a small number of investors, who will have the option of buying the remaining shares by December 2004. The sale will top up revenue from around €5 billion worth of assets sold during 2002, where Vivendi Universal are expected to net €7 billion by the end of year.

German development bank KfW has announced further progress in its support for a solar-panel programme that will see 50,000 homes powered by solar cells generating a total of 190 MW. The bank has furnished €1 billion in loans to cover 100,000 roofs. The programme is expected to save 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has lent €80 million to Tallinna Vesi (ASTV), the local water company for Estonia’s capital, Tallinn. The loan will help the newly privatised company meet EU standards for water and wastewater. The EBRD loan builds on a €22 million loan signed in 1994 to finance the rehabilitation of water and wastewater treatment plants, ground water wells and sewage systems. ASTV is one of the first utility companies to be privatised in the Baltic States.

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