Russia privatisation

Investors look to Dmitry Medvedev (left) to champion the cause for privatization. But Russia’s prime minister hardly sounded overly confident as he reviewed the government’s plans to sell off state assets on Monday.

“We have quite serious plans to raise around Rbs200bn ($5.7bn) from privatisations this year and I hope the plan will be fulfilled,” Medvedev told a government meeting. “We should not drag it out, but at the same time we should consider the economic circumstances in the world and in the country.” Read more

By Pavel Morozov of State Solutions

Russia’s heavily trailed privatisation programme, the scale of which has not been seen since the controversial loans-for-shares privatisations of the 1990s, has so far not delivered on expectations. Assets worth $13bn were set to be sold in this year alone, but now it looks like the Federal Treasury will be receiving $1bn at most. And according to treasury figures, just 4 per cent of privatisations planned for the first half of 2013 were implemented, with only $500m in assets sold.

Officials have blamed recent global market conditions. But the reality is more complex. Read more

Alrosa might be considered the king of diamonds. It is the world’s largest rough diamond producer by volume, with almost 1bn carats of resources.

It’s certainly the king of privatisations, as far as 2013 is concerned. A stake of 16 per cent stake in the company was sold for $1.3bn in an IPO on Monday, making it Russia’s first state privatistion of the year. Read more

To nobody’s great surprise, Russia on Thursday revealed that it was cutting in half its target for privatisation revenues for 2014-16.

The government blamed the financial markets. But the truth is that Russian assets are hard to sell at the best of times. The country needs the economic reforms that president Vladimir Putin has often spoken about, including at the recent St Petersburg Economic Forum, but has so far largely failed to deliver. Read more

A big announcement from Russia’s economy ministry today: Russia may privatise an additional 19 per cent of state-owned Rosneft this year, in addition to the 5.7 per cent stake it sold to BP in March as part of the TNK-BP deal.

The key word in this, of course, is ‘may’. The Russian government has changed course on privatisation more than a few times already, and it is likely to encounter a fair amount of opposition on this particular move. Read more

By Ben Aris of bne

Thanks to non-stop rising incomes, Russians are becoming increasingly more generous. Which means more presents – and more mail. And the Russian postal service has warned that, without investment, it may not be able to cope next year.

Russian Post was expecting twice the volume over the holiday period from a year earlier – and had to cope with 3m registered letters and delivered several million more unregistered letters. Alexander Kiselev, chief executive, says: “This year’s New Year’s Eve may be the last without failure and collapse.” Read more

A new year, a new group of Russian companies that are slated for privatisation.

One of the first up looks to be Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, the country’s biggest port operator. Yet so far things haven’t exactly gone as advertised. And the plot is only getting murkier. Read more

Another week, another iteration to Russia’s constantly-evolving privatisation programme.

At a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Russia’s economy minister announced that the government would now aim to raise Rb260bn ($8bn) to Rb270bn next year with the sale of up to 5 per cent of Russian Railways, 25.5 per cent of lender VTB and 7 per cent of diamond miner Alrosa. Read more

So Rosneft is showing that it is serious about buying a stake in TNK-BP, the Anglo-Russian joint venture, by seeking to raise $15bn in financing.

But, as Igor Sechin, Rosneft chief executive, knows well, money alone won’t secure the deal. The final decision will rest not with Rosneft, BP, or BP’s Russian oligarch partners in TNK-BP, but with president Vladimir Putin. And while Putin is fully aware of the importance of money, much more is at stake in this deal – not least the balance of power in his administration between economic hawks and liberalsRead more

Moscow’s warring government factions went head-to-head on Tuesday on the future of Russian privatisation, with the young US educated Arkady Dvorkovich (left) facing off against Igor Sechin (right), a key Putin ally and former member of the special services.

So which side won? It depends on whom you ask. Read more

For the past month, there has been one big question on Russian investors’ mind: what is the plan for Russian privatisation and more importantly for Rosneftegaz, the state oil and gas vehicle?

This week the plot thickens with the fate of hydroelectric giant Rushydro soon to be decided. Read more