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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

22% Stake For Sale in Rostelekom

The government will sell off a 22-percent stake in telecommunications monopoly Rostelekom at a privatization auction next month, a company official said Wednesday.

Vladimir Osipov, Rostelekom's deputy general manager, said that the State Property Committee and Rostelekom agreed this week to hold a nationwide voucher auction for shares in the company from March 14 to April 12.

Osipov declined to comment on an Interfax report that foreign companies would not be allowed to participate, sayi ng that it was 'premature" becuase procedures for the auction were still being finalized.

Rostelekom, a joint-stock company, was privatized last September under variant one, which gave the company's workers 25 percent of stock as non-voting shares and 15 percent as voting shares. The government will keep 51 percent of voting shares for three years.

The sell-off of the giant telecommunications company is part of an effort by the State Property Committee, Russia's main privatization regulator, to speed up privatization of large state enterprises.

Earlier this week, privatization officials said that Russia's biggest oil conglomerate, Lukoil, would soon offer its shares to the public, and that Russian gas producer Gazprom might soon offer 10 percent of its shares for cash.