Property Ministry prepares massive sales of state banks

The Russian Property Ministry is starting the consolidation of assets in banks that used to belong to state unitary enterprises for massive sales of these assets next year. State blocks of shares in 600 domestic banks will be listed among other state property to be privatized in 2003, the press service of the Property Ministry reported. The decision to withdraw state shares from non-specialized and not first-tier banks was voiced by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in February 2002. Later, the Property Ministry was entrusted to transfer stakes in banks from state unitary enterprises. There are still no estimations how much the state budget can earn by these sales, especially since prices for blocks of shares in state banks are falling rapidly, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

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