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Russian Premier certain about EBRD to become Vneshtorgbank stock-holders

Following the 16th session of the Consultative Council for Foreign Investment in Russia, Russian Prime Minister Kasyanov expressed confidence that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) would be among Russia's Vneshtorgbank (VTB) share-holders. He reported that he planned later in the day to take up once again the topic with EBRD head Jean Lemierre. "We want to discuss measures and conditions of VTB privatisation before the EBRD becomes one of its share-holders, he said.

The Russian premier sees the main objective of VTB privatisation in attracting investors and building an efficient, universal banking system.

The government resolved a year ago that the VTB being a universal bank would be subject to gradual privatisation, with the government withdrawing from the number of its share-holders within five to seven years, said Kasyanov. "We hope the EBRD could create conditions favourable for the VTB to become an efficient universal bank," concluded the head of government.

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