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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reiman Backs Svyaz Asset Transfer

IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman said Thursday that he supported a plan to transfer assets of fixed-line phone monopoly Svyazinvest to long-distance operator Rostelecom.

The government is considering alternatives for developing Svyazinvest. On Monday, Denis Askinadze, an official at the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, said Rostelecom might issue shares and swap them for stakes in regional units of Svyazinvest.

"It's a good option," Reiman said. "It's possible."

The government has said it will sell its remaining 75 percent of Svyazinvest almost every year since 1997, when it auctioned a 25 percent stake now held by Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema.

Under the plan supported by Reiman, the government will hold 54 percent in Rostelecom, while Sistema's stake will decline to about 18 percent. Reiman said the deal would be good for Sistema.