Rostelecom Gains on Report Government Will Take Over 7.4% Stake

OAO Rostelecom, Russia’s biggest fixed-line telephone service provider, rose to a two-week high in U.S. trading on a report that the government is moving closer to getting a 7.4 percent stake in the company from the state-owned Deposit Insurance Agency.

Rostelcom’s American depositary receipts gained 4.3 percent, to $28.32 by the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York, the highest level since Dec. 8.

The Deposit Insurance Agency will transfer its 7.4 percent stake in Rostelecom to the state treasury for 50.3 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) and use the proceeds to help repay a 2008 loan from the government, Interfax news agency reported, citing Deputy Economy Minister Oleg Saveliev. The government’s presidium gave preliminary approval to the transaction in Moscow today, the news agency reported, citing comments Saveliev made to reporters in Moscow.

The government is considering selling stock in Rostelecom after merging it and its biggest shareholder, state-controlled OAO Svyazinvest, Alexei Uvarov, head of the Economy Ministry’s property department, said on June 17.

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