Russia To Privatize Largest Diamond Cutter - Kristall, Reduce Stake in ALROSA to 29%

03/02/2017 11:05

Russia’s largest cut diamonds producer Kristall was included into the 2017-2019 privatization plan, a source familiar with privatization plans told Russia's TASS News Agency on Thursday. Kristall is Russia’s largest producer of polished diamonds and one of the largest diamond cutting companies across the globe. The source also said that the plan for privatization of Russian state-owned assets in 2017-2019 endorsed earlier at the government meeting on Thursday, stipulates lowering of the government’s participation interest in ALROSA diamond miner to 29% plus 1 share. As a result of the 2016 privatization, Russia's shareholding in the ALROSA, represented by the Federal Property Management Agency, declined to 33.02%; the stake held by the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) remained unchanged at 25%, while Yakutia’s uluses (municipalities) preserved 8%. The diamond miner’s free float stands currently almost at 34%.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at a government meeting, said he expected the budget to receive 17 billion roubles ($285.30 million) over the 2017-19 period thanks to the privatisation of state assets. The plan envisages the state reducing its stake in VTB , Russia's No. 2 bank, to 25 percent plus one share within three years. The state would only press ahead and reduce its stake in VTB to below 50 percent plus one share at the same time as it cuts its stake in Sberbank. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said last year that selling off a stake in Sberbank, Russia's largest lender by assets which is controlled by the central bank, was not on the agenda. According to the privatisation program, Russia is also set to reduce its stakes in Sovcomflot, a state shipping company, to 25 percent plus one share