Kremlin calls for govt to speed up privatization

Russia’s Presidential Administration has recommended the government have another look at Russia’s $59 billion privatization program and sell “more and faster,” the president’s economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich said on Tuesday.

The suggestion does not concern the 2011 privatization plan, Dvorkovich said .

“Several companies (with large state-owned stakes) should and have to be privatized faster… More and faster. This year we’ll do what has been announced previously,” Dvorkovich said.

The privatization plan was kicked off this winter with the sale of a 10 percent stake in Russia’s second largest lender, VTB for 95 billion rubles ($3.4 billion).

Dvorkovich said that this year the government also planned to sell Sovcomflot, one of the world’s top five shipping companies, TransContainer and Freight One, both freight divisions of state-controlled rail monopoly Russian Railways.

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