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Medvedev sees no difference as to who acquires state-owned stakes of privatized companies

December 15, 2016, 12:58 UTC+3

Medvedev said privatization of Rosneft oil company in large part solved budget issues

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© Yekaterina Shtukina/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sees no substantial difference as to what companies acquire stakes in privatized companies, he said in an interview with Russian TV channels on Thursday, adding that the key thing is a fair payment for the stake being acquired.

"Regarding privatization, it is not of major importance who acquires, as long as a fair payment is offered," he said.

Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft has properly addressed the issue of search for buyers of 19.5% stake, Medvedev said.

"I have to admit that Rosneft has fared well and on the whole achieved a good economic result," he said, adding that "each step about potential projects, partners were reported to the government."

As was reported earlier, Rosneft and a consortium of Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore signed an agreement for the sale of 19.5% of Rosneft shares for 692 bln rubles ($11.3 bln). A total of 710.8 bln rubles, including 18 bln rubles worth of extra dividends of Rosneftgaz will be transferred to the Russian budget. The transaction is subject to fulfillment of conditions (including agreeing and finalization of all relevant financing, guarantee and other agreements). The deadline for finalization of the deal is December 15.

Medvedev added that proposal of Glencore and the Qatari fund on privatization of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft was attractive due to the speed of the deal’s execution.

"The power of the proposal made by Glencore and the Qatari fund was about the fact that they were ready to quickly execute, to quickly provide the required amount of liquidity, as financial experts put it, meaning to pay quickly to the budget of the Russian Federation, which was done," he said, adding that "the decision was highly efficient."

Medvedev said Rosneft's privatization in large part solved budget issues.

"This year’s budget implies expedited credit repayments to defense enterprises. In order to do this it was necessary to consolidate extra budget revenues, which allowed to exclude a whole number of unnecessary payments in the future," he said.

Medvedev also said that the issue of privatization of Russia s’ top lender Sberbank is not on the government’s agenda.

"Sberbank is not (in the privatization list)," he said.

Speaking about further privatization plans regarding state-owned companies on the whole, PM said that related decisions will be made in case of "structural incentives." "All those decisions (regarding Sovcomflot, VTB and Sberbank - TASS) will be taken if there are structural incentives to do it," he said adding that "no decisions will be made just to fulfill any plans."

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