Russia preparing for large-scale privatization

Russian Minister of Finance said it’s necessary to start privatization from he Rosneft petroleum company.

Russian Minister of Finance said it’s necessary to start privatization from he Rosneft petroleum company.

Reuters
Shares of country’s largest banks could be sold.

According to Russian Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov there’s a possibility that the country’s largest state banks – Sberbank and VTB – could be privatized, but it’s necessary to start the process with the sale of the state stake in the Rosneft petroleum company. Siluanov made this announcement during an interview with the news program, “Vesti on Saturday with Sergei Brilev.”

"We are primarily talking about a package, which should have been sold a few years ago,” the minister said. “This Rosneft package equals 19.5 percent.”

On January 13, 2016 Alexei Ulyukayev, the minister of economic development, declared the need to return to the issue of privatization of state-owned banks. He expressed this opinion while speaking at the Gaidar Forum.

According to Ulyukayev, partial privatization and partial occupancy of the companies will help fundamentally change the situation in the field of the capitalization of the domestic banking sector.

In an interview with the German publication Handelsblatt in December 2015, German Gref, the head of Sberbank, spoke about the need for the “full privatization” of the company. According to him, in this case it should be a transitional period during which the Bank of Russia, which is now the largest shareholder of the credit institution (50 percent plus one share), should retain 25 percent of the company. Gref also noted that the privatization would allow the bank to “significantly improve its situation.”

First published in Russian in RBC Daily.

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