23 Oct 2009 18:10

Communication Minister Shchegolev could head Svyazinvest board

MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) - Russia's Communications Minister Igor Shchegolev could chair Svyazinvest's board of directors, two sources close to the board told Interfax.

He said that Shchegolev had been included in the list of candidates presented by the ministry to the Federal Property Agency (Rosimuschestvo).

The minister will likely replace his former advisor, Mikhail Leshchenko, who was recently appointed deputy general director at Svyazinvest.

Following the election of the board the situation will change, a source told Interfax. He said that Shchegolev would likely be elected the board's chairman instead of a regular participant.

"The nomination of Shchegolev shows that the Communications Ministry intends to retain tight control over the state holding's reorganization. The other confirmation of this is the nomination of Yurchenko, who was made Svyazinvest's general director on the initiative of the Communications Ministry," the source said.

In addition to the Shchegolev, the board could also feature Yury Kornev, the First Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service and Yevgeny Yurchenko, Svyazinvest's general director. They will likely replace Sergei Drozdov and Sergei Pridantsev, who are representatives of Sistema . Sistema will likely let go of its stake in Svyazinvest in the near future through a share swap with the state.

Svyazinvest's board of directors usually has been headed by Russia's Communications Minister. However, following reforms at the ministry and a change in its leadership, former Presidential Advisor Leonid Reiman, retained the position of board chair.

The holding's shareholders will likely reelect the board in 2010 at their annual meeting. Svyazinvest invest does not plan to hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting, the source told Interfax. By the time of the 2010 meeting, Svyazinvest should have only one owner, the state. If the shareholders' meeting is not held, the state will take the appropriate decisions through Rosimushestvo.

The ministry's press secretary, Yelena Lashkina, told Interfax that the list of candidates for the holding's board would receive government approval. She declined to give further commentary.