Russia to privatize energy giants in 2012 - minister

NEW DELHI. March 29. KAZINFORM The Russian economics ministry plans to launch a privatization campaign in the Russian energy sector in 2012, Minister Elvira Nabiullina said on Thursday, according to RIA Novosti.

"We hope to work out mutually acceptable ways of privatizing the energy giants in the near future," Nabiullina said. 'We plan the privatization ... to start already this year."

The privatization plan involves such energy companies as Rosneft, FSK UES electricity grid, and hydro power generator RusHydro.

In July 2010, the Finance Ministry announced the government's plans to sell off stakes in 10 major companies and banks between 2011 and 2013. Analysts then hailed the move as a way to inject new funds into state coffers and improve the country's image in the eyes of foreign investors.

Russia's previous large-scale sell-off of state assets, which took place in the early 1990s, was widely criticized for creating oligarchs and under-selling valuable assets.

Russia's later selloffs included the restructuring of the electricity sector, which allowed investors to buy stakes in generating companies, and sales of stakes in Rosneft, Sberbank and VTB.


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