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Privatisation plan to be one of first documents to be signed by new PM

April 28, 2012, 21:54 UTC+3

Shuvalov stressed that the government is committed to complying with these deadlines

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MOSCOW, April 28 (Itar-Tass) —— A government resolution on the privatisation of Russian state-owned companies will be among the first documents to be signed by the new prime minister, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

“A concrete privatisation plan will most likely be signed by the new chairman of the government after the cabinet of ministers has been formed. We have several more weeks to wait. I think it will be one of the first acts to be signed from the first week of the new government’s work,” Shuvalov said on Saturday, April 28.

There have been disputes in the government over the timeline for privatisation of some energy assets. “The document got stuck because of that,” Shuvalov said, adding that now “all disagreements over these disputes are clear”.

“There were disagreements. For example, can we afford to withdraw from energy assets at the rate we agreed to last autumn? We decided that we can do it,” he said.

Shuvalov stressed that the government is committed to complying with these deadlines.

Speaking about privatisation of Sberbank, he said “the government is considering this as a very favourable project”.

Shuvalov said earlier that Sberbank should be privatised by the end of this year.

“I think it should be sold this year,” he said.

There are different views regarding this issue, he admitted. One is that the bank should be sold this year. Another is that this is not the best time because volatility is high and it is necessary to wait till 2013-2014.

At the same time, Shuvalov is of the opinion that “if we keep waiting we may never get it [the best time] and if this volatility continues for five more years, there will always be the argument against selling”.

Sberbank has no plans to place its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the next two weeks, the bank’s CEO German Gref saide arlier.

He did not say when the shares would be placed. “I do not know. This will depend on the situation in the market,” he said.

Sberbank controls about one-third of Russia’s rapidly developing banking market. Its shares have been traded for many years in Moscow, but the upcoming ADR offer in London will be its first deal at a European exchange.

Russia has agreed to move over to the Basel principles of supervisory regulation in the next several years Basel2 by 2014 and Basel-3 by approximately 2018-2019 as well as to ease pressure on banks and facilitate their work by reducing paperwork.

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