Russian government to sell minority stake in Aeroflot carrier

Russian government to sell minority stake in Aeroflot carrier
The Russian government may sell a 1.17% stake in Aeroflot by 2022 to take its share in the carrier to 50%
By bne IntelliNews October 21, 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development considers proposing a 1.17% minority stake in national air carrier Aeroflot to private investors by 2022, Kommersant daily reported on October 18.

Reportedly, the initiative could be supported by the Finance Ministry, but is likely to be opposed by the Ministry of Transportation. Selling a 1.17% stake would cut state ownership to 50%.

The state controls 51.17% in the carrier, 35.7% are held by institutional investors, 3.5% by state technology agency Rostech, 5.1% by private investors, 4.3% is a treasury stake, and 0.1% is held by the management of Aeroflot.

Previously in the botched privatisation efforts of 2014-2016, the state already planned to cut the participation in Aeroflot to 25% plus one share.

As reported by bne IntelliNews, the Russian government could cut state's shares in RusHydro hydro energy major (61.2% state stake), Transneft oil pipeline operator (78.55%), Sovcomflot maritime shipping (100%), Rosseti grid operator (88.04%), Rostelecom integrated telecom major (45.04%), and United Grain Company grain exporter (50% plus one share).

Russia’s privatisation programme was re-launched with much fanfare in 2008 after Dmitri Medvedev took over as president, but immediately stalled thanks to the 2008 global financial crisis.

Since 2017 the government and the Ministry of Economic Development has been consistently cutting the privatisation plans, while the new economic growth paradigm announced by President Vladimir Putin for his 2018-2024 term largely focusing on state-driven infrastructure investment.

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