The Russian government believes that among the real buyers of Slavneft's share package there will hardly be a state company, a high-ranking source in the government reported to RosBusinessConsulting. The official was quoted as saying that "all companies that have money" have chances to purchase the state share package of Slavneft. Those are large oil companies. The source did not dismiss the possibility that a foreign company might participate in an auction. Speaking about the reasons for selling the share package in one lot, the source pointed out that in the event of selling the package in parts the government's revenues would be "much smaller".
As it was reported earlier, the decree about selling a 74.95 percent stake in Slavneft that is currently owned by the federal government was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on October 9, 2002. Before that the government was planning to sell a 19.68 percent stake. After the Prime Minister signed the decree about privatizing the entire stake in Slavneft held by the government, the Russian Federal Property Fund was ordered to prepare and hold an auction and sum up its results on December 20, 2002 as the latest and make sure the money for the share package are transferred before February 2003. Today the Russian Property Ministry holds a 55.27 percent stake in Slavneft, while the share of the Russian Federal Property Fund is 19.68 percent, Belarus - 10.83 percent, the Depository and Clearing Company - 12.98 percent (a nominal holder).
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime