LONDON, November 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
In an effort to stave off a worse-than-expected deficit this year, Russian authorities have written a decree ordering the sale of a large slice of state-run oil titan Rosneft which will, they hope, bring in funds by the end of 2016.
Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister, signed off on the decree and stated that he wanted the sale of the 20 percent chunk of the energy firm to be completed by early next month.
Economic experts at the Kremlin forecast the nation's deficit to be around 3.8 percent of gross domestic product this year; however the figure is now looking like it will be much higher than that unless more privatization deals can be pushed through in the next two months.
"We've seen massive deals go through recently with large slices of oil company Bashneft and diamond specialists Alrosa being offloaded," said Steve Rogers, Director of Asset Allocation at Orix Capital Trading in an interview on Friday.
"Those two sales have raised around 380 billion rubles so the government will be looking for one, maybe two more deals possibly in the chemical or coal sectors," Rogers added.
Analysts say the sale of nearly a quarter of Rosneft is likely to bring in over 750 billion rubles and would be equivalent to around 700 billion rubles coming into the budget once a 0.96 coefficient had been dialled in.
The idea would be for the Rosneft board to purchase the 20 percent stake themselves, with assistance from private equity firms which would be the easiest way to push the deal through in time for end-of-year reports.
The company's gas arm, Rosneftegaz, currently has a 70 percent stake in the firm and according to inside sources, the company's CEO is likely to be re-elected as chairman of the Rosneftegaz board come the New Year.
The deal still needs to be passed by sector watchdogs and if it does Rosneftegaz will need to raise funds quickly, with many observers saying that the only way would be to offload their minority stake in major gas company Verkhnechonskneftegaz to a Chinese interest.
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SOURCE Orix Capital Trading