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Ukraine Eyes Privatization

KIEV — The Ukrainian government has drafted a bill that paves the way for the privatization of hundreds of state-owned companies previously considered strategic, Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper reported Wednesday, citing a leaked draft document.

Ukrainian Economy Minister Petro Poroshenko said this week that the government planned to remove about 1,200 enterprises from the list of strategic assets that cannot be privatized, Ukrainian media reported, but he did not name any.

Kommersant said the bill lifts the ban on privatizing numerous coal mines, oil and gas pipelines, grain silos and other industrial assets.

The sell-off could provide extra budget revenue and also harks back to 1990s moves that freed up business and drove development of the European Union's eastern member states.

"Should the new list pass through [parliament], it might pave the way for a new round of massive privatization in Ukraine," VTB Capital said in a note Wednesday.

(Reuters)

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