June 27, 2011 / 9:03 AM / 8 years ago

Russia to add Aeroflot to sell-off list - Kudrin

MOSCOW, June 27 (Reuters) - Russia will add flag carrier Aeroflot to the list of firms it wants to privatise as it seeks to exit controlling stakes in major firms over the next 3-5 years, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday.

“Aeroflot, in all probability, will be included,” Kudrin told an investor conference.

President Dmitry Medvedev, looking to step up the pace of sell-offs and reduce the state’s dominance of the economy, has ordered the government to draft an expanded privatisation agenda by Aug. 1.

“In the next 3-5 years we must dispose of controlling stakes in all key companies,” Kudrin said in a speech to investment bank Renaissance Capital’s annual investor conference.

“We are talking about the financial, oil, communication sectors and about transportation companies, starting with Sovcomflot and Aeroflot.”

This year, Russia has floated a 10 percent stake in state-controlled bank VTB , raising $3 billion, and plans to sell off a 7.6 percent stake in Sberbank , worth around $6 billion.

State-owned Sovcomflot, which operates a large merchant shipping fleet, is also slated for the privatisation of a 25-percent stake this year.

The state owns 51.17 percent in flag carrier Aeroflot, while the central bank owns a further 11.8 percent.

Kudrin has targeted raising $30 billion from privatisation over the next three years, a figure he said could rise by 25-50 percent if Russia successfully executes a more ambitious sell-off programme.

Medvedev’s economic adviser, Arkady Dvorkovich, told reporters on the fringes of the conference that the size of stakes in some major state-controlled firms to be put up for sale would be increased.

Dvorkovich named oil major Rosneft , slated for the sale of a 15 percent stake, and VTB as candidates for more ambitious sales.

Natural monopolies such as Gazprom and Transneft TRNF_P.MM, which control Russia’s gas and oil pipeline networks, would, however, remain under state control, he said. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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