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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Lists 136 Firms For Sell-Off

The government has released a schedule for the sale of government stakes in some of Russia's most attractive companies, including the lucrative oil, telecommunications, transport and forestry industries, which will be sold by the end of this year, officials said Wednesday.

The list of 136 companies, released Monday by the State Property Committee, details when the government's share in each company will be sold, and the method of its privatization -- either cash auction, "special" cash auction or investment tender.

"These are large stakes in companies that are interesting to investors,'' said Alexander Semenyanka, president of the Federal Fund Corporation, the major government agent handling most auctions.

Topping the list of the planned sales are stakes in the oil industry, with Yukos (22.4 percent), LUKoil (17 percent) and Sidanko (15 percent) set for auctions beginning Oct. 15.

"I am sure we will be able to fulfill this year's plan of earnings to the budget from the auctions," Semenyanka said at a news conference Wednesday.

Russia's 1995 budget calls for 9.3 trillion rubles ($2 billion) in privatization earnings, but less than 1 trillion rubles has been collected so far.

Some 5,800 Russian companies are scheduled to be sold off over the next two years. Opposition from the Transport Ministry appears to have held up the sell-off of Russian International Airlines -- the most profitable remnant of Aeroflot -- and several key ports.

The latest plan offers a 10.3 percent share in the national electric company United Energy Systems, which was placed at a July auction, and in one of the country's major metal producers, Novolipetsky Metal, due to be sold off Oct. 1. The list also includes stakes of up to 51 percent in 11 gold companies, up to 81 percent in major forestry enterprises and up to 70 percent in chemical firms.

Vladimir Malin, a director of the corporation in charge of stock operations, said the shares in the companies will be sold mostly at cash auctions nationwide.

Two types of cash auctions will be held, Malin said -- ordinary auctions where the highest bidder takes the whole package, and "special" cash auctions where participants gain shares proportional to the amount they bid.

"These types of auctions take into consideration national interests as well as interests of small investors," he said.

A small number of companies, including many in the metals sector, will be sold off through investment tenders, which the government has said it will phase out.