Russia plans $29bn state asset sell-off
RUSSIA plans to sell $29bn worth of assets on the open market, a senior government official said yesterday, allaying investors fears about the transparency of the biggest privatisation since the 1990s.
The planned asset sale is designed to fill budget holes that Russia is to battle for the next few years.
“We will sell significant stakes in state companies on the market. We plan to keep controlling stakes,” finance minister Alexei Kudrin said ahead of a government meeting today, which will debate key budget parameters and privatisation plans.
“(Assets) will be valued publicly, in line with market prices and tenders will be open,” he said. “We are fully ruling out a situation when somebody sells something to someone at an artificially low price.”
He said the government wanted to earn $10bn next year from asset sales but did not name the companies that would be auctioned off.
If approved, the sale would become Russia’s most ambitious since President Boris Yeltsin’s era when oil and metal companies were sold-off.
Investors have said they are keen to see how transparent the process will be and whether foreigners will be allowed to bid.