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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Privatization Enters Cross-Country Phase

Muscovites can start bidding for shares in factories across the country Thursday, at the first inter-regional auction of privatized enterprises scheduled at the Expocenter.

A spokesperson for the Expocenter said that citizens can bid their privatization vouchers on major privatized enterprises such as the Vladimir Tractor factory, the Perm Motor factory and the Velgiisky factory in Nizhny Novgorod.

The event will be Russia's first cross-country voucher auction, the spokesperson said. Similar auctions in regional enterprises will be held continually for the rest of the year.

They have been organized by the State Property Fund, in charge of privatizaton, and by several foreign consultants, including Credit Suisse First Boston bank.

Shares in 11 Moscow enterprises will be put up for sale as well, including the eight mid-size enterprises put on the block Feb. 1.

Citizens can bid for Moscow enterprises at investment funds as well, but shares in the regional factories are only for sale at the Expocenter, the spokesperson said.

One of the main attractions of the voucher program, now under threat in parliament, has been that Russians are free to invest their vouchers in any factory, anywhere in Russia. Opponents of privatization want an additional clause added to the privatization program, allowing worker collectives to buy all shares at reduced prices.

Privatization officials have said that this would make vouchers worthless and put and end to privatization.

Although the first auctions of Moscow's large privatized enterprises started in December, the Moscow city government has not yet finalized a list of enterprises that will go up for sale this year, Kommersant Daily newspaper reported Wednesday.

The Moscow City Council has refused to approve the privatization program until it sees the list. A preliminary list included 4, 381 enterprises scheduled for auctions this year.