Kazakhstan interested in buying stakes in Belarusian refineries

MINSK. March 29. KAZINFORM Kazakhstan will look at bidding for state stakes in Belarusian refineries, said Yergali Bulegenov, the Central Asian country's ambassador to Belarus.

"Kazakhstan would be interested in taking part in the privatization of any stake in Belarusian oil refineries to be able to sell petroleum products to Europe at higher prices," Bulegenov told reporters in the Belarusian capital, Minsk on Wed, Bloomberg reports.

Belarus plans to sell $12.5 billion in assets in the next five years, according to the government and central bank's joint strategy published on Jan. 20. Sales this year, including companies linked to the oil industry, may bring in at least $2.5 billion, State Property Committee Chairman Georgy Kuznetsov said Feb. 17.

Belarus is considering sales of a controlling stake in Naftan, one of its two refineries, Interfax reported , citing First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko on March 19. The potential investor should pay a fair market price and double or triple the amount of taxes it pays into the Belarusian budget in the first 5 to 10 years after the acquisition, while maintaining Naftan's jobs, wages, and social services at their current level, the Russian news service said, citing Semashko.

Naftan can process 170,000 barrels of crude a day, according to the refinery.

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