Date for Slavneft tender set

The auction for the sale of a 74.95-percent stake in the Slavneft oil company will be held on December 18, 2002, Chairman of the Russian Federal Property Fund Vladimir Malin announced in the House of Government today. He also reported that applications for participation in the tender could be submitted from November 16 to December 15, 2002. The state oil company will be privatized at an open tender. According to Russian First Deputy Property Minister Alexander Braverman, authorities hope the sale will improve the efficiency of Slavneft's work, concentrate stakes of the company and maximize allocations to the federal budget.

According to earlier reports, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov signed a decree on the sale of a 74.95-percent stake in Slavneft on October 9, 2002 instead of the earlier planned sale of 19 percent in 2002 and 5 percent in 2003. The Russian government is going to earn no less than $1.3bn by the sale. According to estimates of oil analysts, the price for the block of shares in Slavneft can reach $2bn to $3bn.

As of now, the Antimonopoly Ministry received 10 applications for participation in the tender, including Sibneft and Tyumen Oil Company that had officially announced their participation in the tender. Antimonopoly Minister Ilya Yuzhanov was quoted as saying that there would be no limitations for participation in the tender, since, according to the ministry's analysts, commodity markets would see no significant changes regardless of the outcome of the tender.

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