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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cabinet Approves Sale of Svyazinvest

The government has approved a draft decree to sell state telecoms holding Svyazinvest and has sent it to President Vladimir Putin for approval, Interfax quoted a government source as saying on Thursday.

The long-awaited sell-off of the state's 75 percent stake in Svyazinvest needs a signature from Putin to come into force, as the company services the government and the military. No date has yet been set for the privatization, which is not expected to take place this year.

The sale will be Russia's largest privatization to date; IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman once put its value at $3 billion. Svyazinvest controls seven regional telecoms companies, long-distance monopoly Rostelekom and Moscow fixed-line provider MGTS.

Three Russian companies have expressed their interest in the sale -- Alfa , Sistema and telecoms company Telekominvest, which is seen as being close to Reiman. Reiman denies this.