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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

55 Million Shareholders?

Russia, where shops and firms were owned by the state for seven decades, now has 55 million private shareholders and 70 percent of firms have been transferred to private hands, Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais said.

Chubais, who is responsible for privatization, told Trud newspaper that 110 million of the 150 million privatization vouchers distributed in 1992 had already been used -- either in exchange for shares or in investment funds.

Privatization has been a key element of Russia's economic reform package. President Boris Yeltsin signaled his support for the state sell-off last month when he said Chubais would retain the rank of deputy prime minister in a new government.

Chubais said Russian privatization had been a success. The sell-off had won the backing of 63 percent of Russians and the opposition of only 17 percent.