SOCHI, May 19 (Prime) – The Russian government may cut the state’s holding in Rosneft, the nation’s largest oil company, to 51 percent, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday.
“The question is, what size stake in Rosneft do we need? We can go down to 51 percent,” he said.
The state can reduce its holding to this level and privatize up to 49 percent of the company “without any threat of forfeiting our strategic position,” he said, but did not specify when the privatization of part of the company would take place.
The Economic Development Ministry sent its proposals to the government in April for the additional privatization in 2013 of around 19 percent of Rosneft, reducing the state’s share in it to 50 percent plus one share. State-owned Rosneftegaz currently holds 69.5 percent of Rosneft, while Britain’s BP holds 19.75 percent. In March, Rosneftegaz sold 5.66 percent of Rosneft as part of the deal to buy the TNK-BP oil company.