Government releases data on privatization

The Russian Government is planning to earn about RUR50bn (about $1.59bn) from privatization in 2003, the property Ministry of Russia reported to RBC. The Ministry has developed a program for privatization for 2003, which was to be discussed at a government meeting tomorrow.

There are currently 9,810 state companies in Russia. The state also owns 4,355 joint stock companies. It is planned to privatize about 600 joint stock companies and 450 state companies next year. The revenues from selling these companies amounted to RUR5.5bn (about $174.42m) last year. The majority of state companies are in the agriculture industry (about 160 companies), in the defense industry (about 50 companies), in non-production sectors and in the engineering industry (about 20 companies in each), in the fuel and energy industry (about 15 companies) and in the healthcare industry (about 10 companies). Additionally, the Ministry pointed out that state companies would gradually consolidate and merge.

The joint stock companies to be privatized, employ over 380,000 people. Sales revenues of their goods and services amounted to about RUR420bn (about $13.32bn). Most of these companies operate in the fuel and energy industry (about 150 companies), the agriculture industry (about 110 companies) and the defense industry (about 100 companies).

The Ministry stated that privatization had been almost completed in the coal industry. The priority industries to be privatized are the oil and gas industry and the electric energy industry. Privatization is starting in the railroad industry.