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Putin Wants More Asset Competition

President Vladimir Putin said state energy holding company Rosneftegaz should not be the only contender in planned sales of government-controlled energy assets, adding that Russia would stay the course on planned privatizations.

"Of course you cannot call it privatization in the direct sense if Rosneftegaz participates in the acquisition of state company shares," Putin told a meeting of a newly formed energy advisory council Tuesday, adding that the state had an obligation to help heavily regulated companies boost their value.

"That does not mean we should limit ourselves to participation by Rosneftegaz," he said.

Igor Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft, has been promoting the state energy holding, which controls the government's stake in the top Russian oil producer, as a halfway house for state-owned energy companies with low valuations.

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