Russia mulls Rosneft stake cut
Moscow, May 18, 2014
Russia could reduce its stake in oil producer Rosneft this year, bringing forward a privatisation that had been scheduled for 2016, the economy minister was quoted as saying yesterday.
Business daily Vedomosti had reported last week, citing two government sources, that Russia could sell 19.5 per cent of Rosneft as early as this autumn or in 2015.
"Nothing prevents us from completing this deal in the current year as the market conditions are not bad and technically, we are fully prepared," Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was quoted by RIA news agency as saying.
Ulyukayev, taking part in an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation trade ministers' meeting in the Chinese city of Qingdao, said that both Russian and foreign investors had expressed interest.
The state owns 69.5 per cent of Rosneft, the world's largest listed oil company by production, but it eventually plans to reduce its shareholding to 50 per cent plus one share.
Russia's stock market has fallen sharply in recent months as a result of the East-West standoff over Ukraine, reducing the price that Russia could receive by selling state companies.
However, there may have been a preliminary agreement with strategic investors from Asia, analysts said. British oil major BP is the second-biggest Rosneft shareholder with a 19.75 per cent stake.-Reuters