Russia to finalize 2020-2022 privatization goals on December 19: source

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will take a step forward with its long-awaited privatization program next week when it finalizes a list of companies it hopes to sell in 2020-2022, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Russia has been trying to sell some of these companies for years but has delayed the process, blaming either unfavorable market conditions or a lack of readiness by the companies themselves.

The list, to be finalised on Dec. 19, includes oil pipeline monopoly Transneft TRNF_p.MM, railway operator Russian Railways, Aeroflot AFLT.MM airline, grid company Rosseti RSTI.MM, power firm RusHydro HYDR.MM, United Grain Company and shipping group Sovcomflot, the source said.

Russia’s finance ministry declined to comment on the specifics.

“Privatization is seen as a structural measure to reduce the share of government involvement in the economy, aimed at improving the efficiency of company management,” the ministry said in a statement.

In recent years, the government has managed to reduce its stake in VTB bank VTBR.MM, Alrosa ALRS.MM diamond miner and some other smaller companies but has fallen short of its initial plan.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Christina Fincher