Russian railways

By Ben Aris of business new europe

Kicking off the Russian IPO drive for 2013 is Russian rail freight company NefteTransService (NTS), with an announcement on Tuesday confirming its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange in the first half of this year.

Financial details have still to be settled but NTS is expected to sell a stake of around 25 per cent in a business with an estimated market value of around $2bnRead more

Russian Railways has approved the $1.6bn sale of its remaining 25 per cent in Freight One completing the privatisation of its biggest freight subsidiary. But that doesn’t mean the state rail monopoly will part lightly with other prize assets.

On the contrary. If the group gets its way, plans to sell off its remaining stake in London-listed Transcontainer will fall by the wayside as the container carrier is wrapped into a proposed new rail transport group owned jointly by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Read more

The Russian competition watchdogs have bared their teeth. The Federal Antimonopoly Service on Tuesday announced that it had fined Russian Railways, the state-controlled group, over Rbs2bn ($70m) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in freight.

Russian Railways immediately said it would appeal. And who knows it might win: chairman Vladimir Yakunin is a close associate of president Vladimir Putin (pictured together). But, for the moment, it is the anti-monopoly service that’s top dog. 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