15 Sep 2010
Russia plans to earn $50bn from privatisation over the next five years and the government will over-rule any objections from company managers over the sale of their firms, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has announced.”We will have a privatisation programme for approximately five years, worth around $10bn a year,” Kudrin told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit.
This marks an increase from a previously announced plan to earn some $29bn from asset sales over three years. Kudrin said new companies had been added to the list, but declined to specify which ones. “It is in the high stage of preparedness … The plan which we have submitted, in general, is for five years starting from 2011, which does not mean that we cannot start even this year if we are ready,” he said. “Now the situation on the whole is favourable for the sale. But … volatility will be high for now on global markets, including on Russian assets. So if there is an insignificant fall, then we will press on with the plans. If there is a big fall, of over 20 percent, then we will have to think.”
Kudrin played down the significance of the protests from the managers of some privatisation targets, such as Nikolai Tokarev, the head of state-run monopoly Transneft, who oppose the sale of their companies. “The main thing is that the government wants to do it,” Kudrin said. “They (the managers) will not get out of it, because it is not those officials that make the decisions, but the government. The government has on the whole decided on this issue…I do not think that the opinions of individual managers will change the positions of the government.”