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Russia to Favor Domestic Markets in Privatization Sales – Dvorkovich

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MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian government will give preference to domestic bourses when it sells state share stakes, presidential economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich said on Tuesday.

“When privatization decisions are made, preference will be given to the Russian market,” Dvorkovich said, citing the recently merged MICEX-RTS stock exchange as an example.

Russia’s Economics Ministry has previously proposed holding privatization deals on the Russian stock exchanges. The head of Russia’s Federal Financial Markets Service, Dmitry Pankin, also spoke in early April for the sale of state share packages inside Russia to stimulate the development of the domestic financial market.

State-owned Sberbank, which tops the privatization list with the sale of a 7.6 percent government stake, has repeatedly said, however, that it will hold its Secondary Public Offering not only on the MICEX-RTS, but also in London and Frankfurt.

Dvorkovich said that although priority would be given to the Russian market, the government would not impose any special restrictions for the sale of state packages abroad.

The Russian government will approve in the next few weeks an extended list of state properties slated for privatization, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said on Monday.

The privatization plan will include share packages in the Novorossiysk Merchant Sea Port, Sovcomflot shipping company, Sberbank, VTB Bank, and Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports.

By 2017, the government intends to fully privatize state oil major Rosneft, RusHydro hydropower holding, oil company Zarubezhneft, electricity trader Inter RAO UES, diamond giant Alrosa, Russian Agricultural Bank and Aeroflot.

The government intends to halve its stakes in wholly state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation and United Aircraft Corporation. By 2016, the government intends to cut its stakes in Federal Grid Company, Transneft oil pipeline monopoly, Russian Railways rail company and Uralvagonzavod machine-building plant to 75 per cent.

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