Rostelecom Stake Sale Proposed

The Economic Development Ministry has proposed selling at least a 50 percent government stake in telecommunications firm Rostelecom after its merger with Svyazinvest is completed, a news report said Tuesday.

The proposal was stated in a letter to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov written by Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov, Vedomosti reported, citing a source familiar with the document.

Rostelecom's merger with Svyazinvest is expected to be completed sometime between October and November.

Experts estimated expected proceeds from Rostelecom's privatization at 150 billion to 200 billion rubles ($3 billion to 4 billion).

Communications and Press Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said late last year that the privatization of Russia's fixed-line monopoly would become feasible in 2015, Interfax reported.

Currently, Svyazinvest holds 41.84 percent of Rostelecom, while the government owns 7.43 percent. The government's stake in Svyazinvest is 75 percent.

(MT)

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