Belarus considers selling Slavneft shares to foreign investor

The government of Belarus is holding talks with foreign investors on selling its block of shares in the Slavneft company. A representative of the Russian Federal Property Fund, which controls 74.95% of the shares in Slavneft, told RBC that the Belarusian government was unlikely to postpone the sale of its block of 10.83% of the shares in Slavneft. This block will be sold soon. The delay was due to the fact that the Belarusian government has been holding talks with a number of foreign companies that showed interest in this deal. The price of $207 million offered by Sibneft did not satisfy Belarus, and foreign buyers have offered sums substantially exceeding this offer by the Russian company. As for the legal grounds for the deal, no problems are expected in this connection, since many aspects in Belarus are regulated by separate resolutions. Until recently it had been believed that Slavneftebank, representing the interests of Sibneft, was the only bidder for the shares. However, on November 29, 2002 information was published that some company from Panama had submitted an application for participation in the auction.

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