12 Oct 2010 14:22

Russia could sell 10% of VTB for at least $3 bln by end 2010

MOSCOW. Oct 12 (Interfax) - The Russian government could sell a 10% stake in VTB , the country's second biggest bank, for at least $3 billion by the end of this year, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters.

"We've drafted the plan for selling VTB shares in 2010 and submitted it to the prime minister, who has agreed that the sale could go through by the end of 2010 if the situation is good," Shuvalov said.

The sale could fetch "at least $3 billion," he said.

The government owns 85.5% of VTB.

Shuvalov also said the government was looking at the options for selling 9.3% of Sberbank , but was considering all options for privatizing the country's biggest bank, including reducing the government's stake to below controlling.

"We started the discussion with 9%, but then it was suggested we look at many scenarios, which were submitted to the prime minister," he said.

Asked whether the Central Bank's stake in Sberbank could be allowed to fall below controlling, Shuvalov said: "You shouldn't rule out any options for Sberbank."