Russian airlines to be privatised

WITHIN the next three to five years the Russian government will sell most of its stake in carrier Aeroflot.

“We will make a very big share package available,” finance minister Aleksei Kudrin said. “We want to give away control.”

It could take until 2016 due to the airline’s size and the work involved in valuing its assets. The Russian state currently holds a 51 per cent stake in the company.

At an investor conference in mid-June, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for aggressive privatisation and criticised the dominant role of government-owned companies in the Russian economy, saying state ownership of too many firms acted as a brake against economic development.

The operator of Russia’s merchant cargo fleet Sovkomflot will also be placed in private hands, as the government tries to sell more than US$30 billion worth of state-owned company shares by 2014.

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