Russia Could Privatize Sovcomflot Next Year, Deputy PM Says

The privatization of Russian state-run shipping company Sovcomflot may take place in 2020 and the company is ready for that, Deputy Transport Minister Yury Tsvetkov told reporters on Friday, according to RIA Novosti.

“My answer is positive. Certainly, it may take place. Sovcomflot is always in the standby for privatization and it is in the looking-forward privatization plan. It is always ready,” the official said.

Most probably, a privatization scheme will be selected with an unlimited range of market players capable of buying shares in the shipping company, Tsvetkov added.

“I believe it will be an unlimited range of bidders. Earlier, as far as I remember, the Ministry of Economic Development suggested a strategic investor. This option is not ruled out as well but I believe it will be an unlimited range of bidders at large,” he added.

The government’s recently revealed privatization plan for 2020-2022 includes Sovcomflot, RusHydro, Transneft, Rostelecom, Rosseti and the United Grain Company.

Ministry of Finance had already proposed including a number of large assets in the program for 2020-2022, mainly from those that were in the old plans, but did not come close to a real sale, including Aeroflot, Zarubezhneft, GTLK, Russian Railways and public TV station Channel One.

Later, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oksana Tarasenko, who oversees the privatization, said in an interview with Interfax that GTLK and Channel One would most likely not be included in the privatization plan. Also, according to her, the draft program would also include RusHydro, Rossetei, and Transneft.