The Russian government is planning to receive at least 100 billion roubles (USD 3.2 billion) from privatizations and the use of state property in 2003. According to the government's press department, this was announced by Yuri Medvedev, the deputy head of the Property Ministry, after the cabinet had discussed the federal privatization programme for 2003.
Medvedev said that at yesterday's meeting the government approved the additional privatization this year of 164 state share holdings and 193 enterprises, as well as 47 stakes in credit organisations. It was also decided to put 370 stakes in various companies up for sale according to a simplified plan. Medvedev said that if the extra sales go ahead as normal, privatization receipts will exceed planned figures by 15-20 billion roubles (USD 475-635 million). He added that the government is planning to raise around 51 billion roubles (USD 1.6 billion) directly from privatizations and a further 40 billion roubles (USD 1.27 billion) from other state assets - dividends, rent from real estate and land. He was at pains to stress that this does not include the 56 billion roubles (USD 1.78 billion) received this year from the sale of the government's stale in Slavneft at the end of 2002.
The deputy minister mentioned the sale of the government's 17.84% stake in the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant as one of the deals closest to completion at the present day. It is estimated that the government will receive around USD 175 million from this sale. Among other major projects he named the sale of 100% of shares in Bashkirian company Polief, a 25%-minus-1-share stake in Svyazinvest, and also 20% of Volgotanker. In addition, he announced that the government had approved the Property Ministry's proposal to privatize part of state insurance company Rosgosstrakh.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.