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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State to Sell20% Stake In Slavneft

Russia aims to privatize 300 firms in 2002, including Slavneft oil, and net 18 billion rubles ($614 million) from the sales, the same sum expected from privatization sales this year, a top government official said Thursday

First Deputy Property Minister Alexander Braverman told a news conference that the Cabinet had approved a list of firms for privatization in 2002 that includes the sale of a 19.68 percent stake in Russian-Belarus firm Slavneft in the second half of the year.

"We shall not hurry with the [privatization] process if it harms budget revenues," he said.

Braverman said that the government expected the sale of the stake to be very competitive because "one of the financial-industrial groups owns a 12.5 percent stake in the company" and may be interested in increasing it, Prime-Tass reported.

He did not name the group, or the price the government expects to fetch for the stake. But analysts said Thursday that 20 percent of Slavneft was worth no less than $200 million.

Among other companies to hit the auction block next year will be one of Russia's biggest steel-makers, the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant, and several ports, Braverman said.

He added that last week he had ordered the privatization of the state-controlled Norsi Oil refinery within three months in two auctions. The government will offer 40 percent at the first sale and 45 percent at the second one.

Braverman also said that the government will "definitely" sell a 6 percent stake in top oil producer LUKoil on the international market before mid-December this year.

(Reuters, MT)