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Russia’s Bashneft oil producer not on privatization agenda — official

December 12, 2014, 17:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The probability of Bashneft’s privatization in the three-year horizon remains very low unless market conditions change radically
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Bobylev

MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. The Russian government is not considering plans to privatize the mid-sized oil producer Bashneft recently returned to state ownership, State Property Agency head Olga Dergunova said on Friday.

“This issue was not considered as of today,” she said.

Bashneft was returned to state ownership from Sistema holding company on December 9, following a court ruling.

The State Property Agency head said Bashneft had been in state ownership for just two days after its renationalization and it was early to speak about its further fate.

“There is also a very significant limiter in how a private or state shareholder, which is not important, can afford to treat the asset - this is a publicly traded company and there are obligations to shareholders who have bought shares on the stock exchange,” she said.

“That is why, this limiter will to a certain extent dictate the accuracy of formulations, the soundness of decisions but up to a moment when a decision on delisting may be taken, for example,” she said.

The probability of Bashneft’s privatization in the three-year horizon remains very low unless market conditions change radically, she said.

“That is why, the government should discuss the expediency, methods and the time of keeping this asset in state hands and its further fate. As of now, these discussions have not yet started,” the property official said.

Bashneft’s ordinary shares surged 10.5% in afternoon trade on the Moscow Exchange to 1,365 rubles ($23.7) per share on Friday after the State Property Agency head suggested including the oil producer into the list of strategic companies.

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