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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Privatization Of Oil Firm Speeds Process

The pace of privatization quickened last week with the announcement that shares in Yuganskneftegaz, one of Russia's biggest oil companies, would be sold at a voucher auction in October.

Based in the northern Siberian region of Khanty-Mansiisk, the company is one of the giants not only of Russian but also of world oil production. It expects to pump 31 million tons of oil this year, about 9 percent of Russian production.

The sale will generate considerable interest among Russians, many of whom have been saving their vouchers to invest in the oil industry. Several voucher investment funds, including Titul and Neft Almaz Zoloto, have been established with a special brief to invest in the privatization of the oil industry.

Good companies like Yuganskneftegaz can attract huge floods of vouchers. According to the Skate Press information agency, at a recent auction for Fosforit, a fertilizer factory in St. Petersburg, a total of 266, 612 privatization vouchers were bid, including 200, 000 from one Moscow company.

Only 12. 5 percent of the shares in Yuganskneftegaz are up for auction this month. A large proportion of the shares will pass to the firm's workers and to groups representing the region's indigenous people. Only 38 percent will remain in government hands.