Russian energy assets to go private

RIA Novosti/Mikhail Fomichev
Russia is to allow private investors access to state gas and oil assets with a partial privatization of Rosneftegaz holding, which controls stakes in Gazprom and Rosneft.

On Thursday President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to approve a plan to sell state shares in Rosneftegaz in 2013-2015. Currently the state-owned holding has a 75.16% stake in Rosneft and a 10.74% stake in Gazprom, as well as multiple stakes in 70 energy companies.

The plan should take into account that Rosneftegaz is the main investor for Gazprom and Rosneft, which would also be partly privatized, the presidential order decrees. These measures would provide the state with profit from the partial privatization of the energy complex. The government plans to sell up to 25% of Rosneft equity capital by 2015.

Earlier, President Putin ordered to keep a golden share of Rosneft, which would give the government veto power over changes to the company's charter. Then-presidential adviser, current vice-Premier Arkady Dvorkovich said that the state could completely sell its stake in Rosneft by 2017. Last month, then-President Dmitry Medvedev pointed out that the privatization should be carried out on schedule. “The government should assemble its courage and carry out a full-scale privatization following the approved plan. If not, it means that there will be no privatization at all,” Medvedev said.

Earlier this week vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov said the government decision on accelerated privatization will be approved in 7-10 days.