OMV To Expand Further In Eastern Europe

OMV AG, Austria's biggest oil company, plans to open about 176 gas stations in Yugoslavia and Romania over the next five years, part of its goal to double market share to twenty percent in central and eastern Europe.

The Viennese company will open sixteen stations in Romania this year and sixty more by 2007, OMV said in a faxed statement. In Yugoslavia it plans about 100 stations in the next five years.

OMV estimates it will spend 160 million euros ($151 million) in Romania from 1999, when it first invested there, until 2007. Costs of opening the new stations weren't disclosed.

OMV is one of the potential bidders for Serbia's Beopetrol a.d., the No. 2 oil product retailer in Yugoslavia's larger republic. It won an auction last week to buy 36 gas stations in the Czech Republic from bankrupt Petra AS.

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