11 Sep 2018 16:46

Russia government to make decision on 50% TransContainer stake by winter

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 11 (Interfax) - The Russian government plans to make a decision on the fate of the controlling stake in TransContainer owned by Russian Railways (RZD).

"I think we will make a determination in the course of autumn. We are awaiting proposals from the Economic Development Ministry, which must be drawn up. Primarily, how we will carry out the presidential decree on increasing container transit and 'containerization' in general. This is an important goal for the economy and for nationally effective logistics, how the TransContainer privatization will enable a resolution of this task," Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum on Tuesday.

"My standpoint consists in that, if a decision is made, this must be an absolutely above-board [sale], transparent, competitive, with a minimal set of restrictions. Sale of the stake such that the company is able to fetch the maximum value. It is valued quite nicely right now," he said.

"The model for interaction is very important, so that RZD does not abuse its right to infrastructure access," he said.

"Of course, this is a somewhat unnatural thing, but these are items being discussed. No one can forbid anyone to own gondolas, containers, splice routes together, provide logistical services. This is competition. The existing services, the FAS [Federal Antimonopoly Service] among them, must monitor [the situation to ensure] nondiscriminatory access to infrastructure. This is how it should be resolved, and not by banning [the monopoly] from acting as a logistical company," Akimov said.