Russia eyes sale of VTB for $3bn

RUSSIA is ready to divest a stake in state-controlled bank VTB for at least $3bn, its first deputy prime minister said yesterday.

Russia is seeking to raise some $59bn through a state privatisation programme by 2015, to plug a hole in the budget and speed up growth ahead of the 2012 presidential election. “Our position is, not less than $3bn,” he said. “If the current market price is lower, then we’ll have to postpone the deal,” Igor Shuvalov said after talks with European Commission officials on trade issues.
VTB is Russia’s second largest bank.