17 Sep 2010 16:15

Transneft privatization

SOCHI. Sept 17 (Interfax) - Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko does not believe it is a good idea for the state to sell off a portion of its holding in national oil pipeline operator Transneft .

"We believe it inadvisable to privatize Transneft," Shmatko told journalists in Sochi on Friday at the International Investment Forum Sochi-2010.

The issue is not on the agenda of the upcoming Transneft board of directors meeting, he said.

Earlier this month Transneft chief Nikolai Tokarev expressed his opposition to a privatization sale. "That would be the worst thing that could happen to Transneft," he said.

But Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said this week that he doesn't think opposition from the managers at the state-owned companies will matter. "The main thing is that the government wants to do it. I do not think that the opinions of individual managers will change the positions of the government," he said.

Alongside Transneft the privatization list includes Rosneft , Federal Grid Company , RusHydro , Sovcomflot, Agency for Home Mortgage Lending, VTB , Sberbank Russia , Rosselkhozbank and others.