News / Economy

    Russia Hopes to Raise $5.5 Billion from Privatizations in 2014

    A Lenta supermarket sign is pictured in Moscow. Russian hypermarket chain Lenta, part-owned by U.S. private equity firm TPG, has set a price range for its planned London market debut, which implies a market valuation of up to $5 billion, Feb. 3, 2014.
    A Lenta supermarket sign is pictured in Moscow. Russian hypermarket chain Lenta, part-owned by U.S. private equity firm TPG, has set a price range for its planned London market debut, which implies a market valuation of up to $5 billion, Feb. 3, 2014.
    Reuters
    Russia's prime minister said on Monday he hoped to raise more than $5.5 billion this year by selling stakes in state companies, reviving a delayed privatization program that could spur a flagging economy.
     
    At a meeting with deputy prime ministers, Dmitry Medvedev also sounded a note of caution, saying the sale of shares in companies such as Rostelecom or shipping group Sovcomflot could happen only in good market conditions.
     
    Launched in 2010 by then Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, the $50-billion privatization drive to reduce the state's direct role in the economy and improve a much-criticized investment climate has been dogged by delays.
     
    Assets have since been removed from the lists, prey to volatile markets and a tug-of-war between more liberal-minded politicians and hardliners favoring a slower approach to privatization.
     
    “Just this year, we have a quite serious privatization plan to raise 200 billion roubles ($5.7 billion), and I hope that these plans will be fulfilled,” Medvedev told the meeting.
     
    “[The approach to privatization] should be balanced. We should not delay but at the same time we should consider the economic circumstances in the world and in the country.”
     
    Russia's economic growth has slowed, reaching just over 1 percent last year after hitting an average 7 percent before the 2008/09 financial crisis. Privatization revenues would help meet generous election promises made by President Vladimir Putin.
     
    Last June, Russia halved its privatization target for 2014 to around $5.5 billion after many previously planned sales were stalled because of adverse market conditions.
     
    The results of the sales so far have been mixed.
     
    Divisions

     
    Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, attracted strong investor demand for its stake sale in 2012, raising more than $5 billion, and the country's second-largest bank, VTB, last year won sovereign backing for a $3.3 billion share issue.
     
    But a 16 percent stake in state diamond miner Alrosa was priced at the bottom of a planned range, valued at $1.3 billion, in October.
     
    The main sell-off penciled in for 2014 is a stake in Rosteleom, which competes with Russia's three main private mobile operators - MTS, Megafon and Vimpelcom . Rostelecom recently merged its mobile assets with VTB's Tele2 Russia mobile unit into a single company, T2 RTK Holding.
     
    Olga Dergunova, head of the State Property Agency, told the meeting Russia expected to receive 150 billion roubles from that sale and the privatizations could start in the second quarter with Sovkomflot. She did not disclose the amount expected to be sold in Rostelecom.
     
    State capitalists such as Igor Sechin, the head of state energy company Rosneft and a long-time ally of Putin, oppose privatization - including of his own company.
     
    The state had been planning to sell its stake in Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) by the end of 2013. Rosneft asked Putin in October to sell it the state's 20 percent stake.
     
    A further stake in VTB is due to be sold in 2015.

    You May Like

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9093
    JPY
    USD
    104.27
    GBP
    USD
    0.7612
    CAD
    USD
    1.3233
    INR
    USD
    67.329

    Rates may not be current.