Russian Govt Confirms Top Company Short-Term Privatization Plans

The Russian government confirmed its plans to sell the stakes of the top ten state-owned companies in 2012-2013 under orders published on Friday.

The government affirms it plans to privatize 7.58 percent minus one share in top bank Sberbank, 25.5 percent minus one share in the country’s second largest bank VTB, 25 percent minus one share in rail monopoly Russian Railways, state website reported.

The privatization list also includes short-term plans to sell 50 percent minus one share in the country’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot, 10 percent in the Russian nanotechnology corporation Rusnano as well as 100 percent in United Grain Company and 49.9 percent minus one share in Rosagroleasing agricultural leasing company.

According to privatization plans through 2016, the government will sell its entire stakes in VTB, Sovcomflot, Rosagroleasing, Zarubezhneft oil company, RusHydro hydropower generator and Inter RAO UES power trader, Moscow-based Sheremetyevo International Airport as well as the country’s flagship carrier Aeroflot, Russian Agricultural Bank and the country’s diamond monopoly Alrosa.

The Russian government also expects to cut its stakes in oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System and Uralvagonzavod machine-building plant to 75 percent plus one share, while state stakes in United Shipbuilding Corporation and United Aircraft Corporation could be cut to 50 percent plus one share by 2016.

“Concerning several companies [RusHydro, Aeroflot, Zarubezhneft, United Grain Corporation and Alrosa], the government could use its special right to have a ‘golden share,'” the website reported.

The Russian government approved in late 2010 an ambitious privatization program for 2011-2013, including the top ten state-owned assets, in a move to bring an extra 1 trillion rubles ($30 billion) to state coffers, but later had to postpone its plans due to the unfavorable situation on the world markets.

In June 2011, Medvedev urged the government to intensify its work to sell state assets and demanded the Cabinet present a broader privatization list. A month later the government published a preliminary plan extending the list of the largest state companies slated for privatization.


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