MOSCOW Russia may sell up to 6 percent of shares in Rosneft (ROSN.MM) in 2013 as part of its privatization program, Economy Minister Andrei Belousov said on Thursday.
Russia's largest oil company is already listed and sold its shares worth $10 billion in an initial public offering in 2006 and the state wants energy holding company Rosneftegaz to start cutting its 75.2 percent stake in the company from 2013, with a complete sale by 2016.
Rosneft is in the process of buying rival producer TNK-BP TNBP.MM from British major BP (BP.L) and Russia's AAR consortium in a $55 billion deal.
As part of the proposed Rosneft buyout of BP's stake in TNK-BP, BP will plough back $4.8 billion of proceeds into buying a 5.66 percent stake in the enlarged Rosneft from Rosneftegaz.
It was not immediately clear whether Belousov's comments referred to that deal. According to the privatization program, seen by Reuters, the government wants to fetch up to 140 billion roubles ($4.47 billion) from Rosneft stake sale.
As part of the privatization plan, the government also plans to sell a stake in shipping group Sovcomflot and a 5 percent share of state rail monopoly Russian Railways in 2013.
Belousov said the government could raise a total of 260 billion-270 billion roubles in at least eight privatization deals next year.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Megan Davies and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Douglas Busvine)