Ukraine Prepares for Large-Scale Privatization

The Ukrainian government has excluded 1,200 companies from a list of strategic enterprises in a bid to prepare for large-scale privatization, Kommersant Ukraine business daily reported on Wednesday.

The list of state-run enterprises excluded from sale has been cut more than five-fold, from 1,492 to 296 businesses, including the Turboatom power engineering giant, removed from the list at the last moment, Economic Development and Trade Minister Petro Poroshenko was quoted by the paper as saying.

The document allows large-scale privatization of Ukrainian coalmines, with the state expected to retain only 11 coal enterprises in Donetsk and seven in the Luhansk regions in southeastern Ukraine.

Privatization will also extend to alcohol-producing factories, radio and television broadcasting centers, publishers, and also energy companies, including debt-saddled state energy firm Naftogaz.

“This is a bold step that may radically change the situation in the energy sector,” Energy Research Institute director Dmitry Marunich said.

“Admission of private capital to it [the energy sector] may considerable improve the situation but only if privatization is transparent and the state retains control of the sector.”


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