Russia eyes trillion rubles from privatisation

MOSCOW: Russia aims to raise 1 trillion rubles ($13.53 billion) from privatisation next year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview aired on Thursday, signaling a major acceleration of plans to sell state assets.

These plans, ambitious on paper, have largely ground to a halt over the last three years against the background of poor stock market conditions, exacerbated by a plunge in oil prices and Western sanctions linked to the Ukraine conflict.

However, the same negative economic developments also mean that the government is increasingly strapped for cash, giving it an incentive to speed up privatization as an alternative to raising taxes, cutting spending or exhausting fiscal reserves. “Next year we will seriously change our approach to privatisation,” Siluanov said in the interview on Rossiya-24 television.

“The Russian government is preparing proposals to sell stakes in large companies.” He added that “in the first instance” the state oil firm Rosen (ROSN.MM) was being prepared for privatisation.



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