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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EBRD Will Focus on Helping Privatization

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, set up by the West to help former communist states switch to capitalism, said Thursday that its Russia strategy will shift to help the world’s largest energy supplier sell state assets.

The EBRD wants to aid Russia in its efforts to “accelerate the privatization of stakes in state-owned companies and to help bring back into private ownership companies and banks in which the state has increased its involvement due to the economic crisis,” the bank said in a statement.

The bank said it will “consider preprivatization investments to restructure state companies in order to increase their attractiveness to investors, as well as the possibility of participating directly in privatizations alongside strategic investors or supporting initial private offerings by such companies.”

President Dmitry Medvedev has called for inefficient state companies to be sold off and wants to modernize industries to replace the country’s reliance on oil and gas revenue.

The government hopes to raise 72 billion rubles ($2.5 billion) next year by selling stakes in more than 400 companies, including power generator TGK-5, insurer Rosgosstrakh and other ports, airports and shipping companies. The plan aims to help plug its budget deficit, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said.

(Reuters, Bloomberg)