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Mass privatisation in 2013 earns budget over RUB 6 bln

December 25, 2013, 22:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 25, 21:17 /ITAR-TASS/. Mass privatisation (discounting the sale of shares in major companies) in 2013 has earned Russia’s budget 6.261 billion roubles, Deputy Head of the Agency for the Management of Federal Property (Rosimushchestvo) Ivan Aksenov said on Wednesday, December 25.

“This makes up 125 percent of the target level of 5 billion roubles,” he told ITAR-TASS.

Rosimushchestvo Head Olga Dergunova said “the Finance Ministry will get another 3 billion roubles or so, which were received from the sale of shares, early next year.”

Aksenov said the mass privatisation target figures had been reached by almost 70 percent this year. “In 2014-2016, we will continue privatisation to sell 31 percent of joint stock companies that were included in the programme for 2011-2013. There were no buyers,” he said.

As for the middle of 2013, the register of federal property listed 2,337 open joint stock companies. Privatisation programmes for 2011-2013 and 2014-2016 include about 1,200 such companies. Twelve percent of open joint stock companies (about 318 entities) are not operating or are in the process of liquidation or reorganisation.

“Their further fate will be decided either by completing the bankruptcy proceedings or incorporating them into other joint stock companies,” Aksenov said.

About 32 percent of all companies listed in the register of federal property are subsidiaries of vertically integrated companies created earlier. In most of them, the federal government has a minority stake ranging from one share to 25 percent.

“We expect that after all privatisation programmes have been implemented, about 3 percent of joint stock companies will remain in federal ownership. These are major strategic companies, development institutions and some other companies in which the State has decided to keep its share,” the official said.

The Russian government plans to receive 3,000 billion roubles from the privatisation of state-owned property in 2012-2016. This exceeds privatisation revenues over the past 18 years.

Last year, 202 billion roubles worth of state property were sold, 1.6 times more than in 2011.

By 2018, the number of joint stock companies in federal ownership will decrease 10 times, and the share of civil servants in such companies' governing bodies will be reduced to 30 percent during the same period of time.

There are 2,325 joint stock companies in the federal register of federal property. The combined value of all federal property is 12,000 billion roubles.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said only those assets would remain in federal ownership that secure strategic interests of the State.

He stressed that the policy of reducing the public sector had been pursued consistently for several years and it “is decreasing all the same” no matter what some say.

“Privatisation priorities mean not only a way to augment the state budget. They also mean the appearance of long-term investors and effective owners, those who have sufficient capabilities,” the prime minister said.

The sale of state-owned property should take into account demand among investors, Medvedev said. But this does not mean that “we should sit around and wait for a better situation some 150 years from now. We won't sell anything if we do this,” he said.

He noted that assets that were prepared as a whole rather than as a set of separate components sell the best.

The Russian government said earlier its privatisation plan included more than 850 organisations, such as VTB bank, Sovcomflot, the United Grain Company, RusHydro, Sberbank, Rosneft, Rosagrolizing, Rosselkhozbank, Russian Railways Company, and others.

Russia will also continue to privatise state-owned banks after 2015.

According to the privatisation plans, the government intends to reduce its share in Sberbank, VTB and Rosselkhozbank to 50 percent plus one share.

Subject to privatisation will be large enterprises in the oil and oil transportation sector, air transportation, financial sector, machine-building, and defence industry.

There are 2,500 more enterprises across Russia that can be of interest to investors. These companies are engaged in wood processing, agriculture and other industries.

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