29 Sep 2009 16:30

Govt to reduce stake in VTB

MOSCOW. Sept 29 (Interfax) - The government will reduce its stake in the VTB bank in the medium term, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, who is also the country's finance minister, said at the VTB forum.

"If in 2009 and perhaps even in 2010 we will have to increase our stakes in some [companies and banks], then in the mid-term we propose to divest these stakes, which we acquired during the crisis period. This applies to VTB also," Kudrin said.

Kudrin later told reporters it would be five years at least before the government reduces its stake in VTB to less than 50%.

"The stake could be reduced to less than controlling in time, but only in the long term. I can't see any prospect of this happening in the next five years," he said.

VTB placed 37.364 billion rubles worth of new shares in September. The share issue consisted of 9 trillion shares, par value 0.01 rubles each. They were sold for 4.82 kopecks a share. VTB sold just over 41.5% of the issue and raised 180.094 billion rubles.

The issue increased the government's stake in VTB to 85.5% from 77.5%.