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Russian Energy Ministry backs selling controlling stake in Bashneft

February 19, 12:12 UTC+3
The ministry considers proper to sell more than 50% stake to strategic investors
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KRASNOYARSK, February 19. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Energy supports selling the controlling stake in the Russian oil producer Bashneft to strategic partners, First Deputy Minister Alexey Teksler said on Friday at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum.

"The best option is to sell the controlling stake to a strategic investor, although other options are also possible," Teksler said, adding the ministry considers proper to sell a more than 50% stake in Bashneft.

"I told you about the controlling [stake] - it means over 50 [%]," the official added.

According to information available with TASS, the government is considering two options of Bashneft’s privatization: to sell over 50% of company’s shares or 25% of shares on the exchange.

The Russian Property Management Agency holds 50.08% in the charter capital of the oil producer. The Russian region of Bashkiria owns 25% plus one share in Bashneft. The region does not consider divestment of its stake and does not hold negotiations on this issue, head of Bashkiria Rustem Khamitov said.

On February 14 Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev said that Russia’s government plans to privatize a number of energy sector companies in 2016, including Rosneft and Bashneft oil majors.

On February 16 the head of Russia’s Bashkortostan republic said that the republic would not sell its 25% shares as it may have grave consequences for economic development of the region.

Earlier this month Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded to ensure maximal transparency of privatization and emphasized that blocks of shares owned by the state should not be sold for next to nothing or at giveaway prices.

Bashneft retains plans for oil production for 2016, First Deputy Energy Minister Alexey Teksler told journalists Friday on the sidelines of the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum.

It was reported earlier that Bashneft plans for oil production in 2016 amounted to more than 20 mln tonnes. They could be changed due to reports about a possible freezing of oil production in Russia at the level of January 2016. At the same time, the company is the country's leader in terms of growth in 2015.

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