Source Pravda.Ru

Slavneft Oil Company Privatization Doubtful

Foreign competitors make Russian candidates leave

The long-expected privatization of the Russian-Belarussian oil company Slavneft turns out to be undecided. Foreign competitors - the Chinese company CNPC and the British company British Petroleum - became a serious concern both for Russian oil oligarchs and for the Russian government. Oligarchs lost their interest in participating in the auction for the company. Yet, the government hopes to receive more money for the budget.

Vagit Alekperov, the head of the Russian oil giant LUKOIL, has already announced his unwillingness to acquire 74.95% of the company’s stocks. As is expected, more such statements will follow from other candidates as well. The Russian government is concerned about the price that was set for Slavneft. It is an open secret that the next year will be very difficult for Russia in terms of financial problems. Various state organizations are trying to find to raise the price of the company. The Russian Clearing House said to RIA Novosti that the price of Slavneft stocks could be higher than three billion dollars. The initial price for the stock of 74.95% of Slavneft shares was fixed on the level of $1.7 billion. However, the Russian Fund for Federal Property later rethought the figure and ordered to study the price of Slavneft. Experts came to the conclusion that the initial price for the company’s stocks should be no less than $2.5 billion. The Clearing House does not exclude that the share cost might fluctuate during the auction between $3-3.2 billion.

It seems that the Russian government has not learned any lessons from the Belarussian experience. The Belarussian State Property Ministry failed to sell its shares of the company Slavneft at a more expensive price. There was no one to buy the shares, so Belarus had to prolong the term of sales of the stocks. However, this does not guarantee any success either. Both Russian and foreign oil producers are likely to say no to purchasing the shares of the company Slavneft if this stock becomes more expensive.

If this happens, then the Russian auction will have to be adjourned as well. This implies no scheduled revenues for the budget. Is there any sense in the auction? There definitely is, if there is a buyer to purchase Slavneft stocks. In this case, it would make sense to let him have the stocks at a more expensive price. Experts say that it will probably be the company Sibneft.

Dmitry Slobodanuk PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov