Russian House to Raise 5 Billion Rubles in Asset Sales

OAO Russian Auction House, partly owned by the nation’s biggest lender OAO Sberbank, plans to raise at least 5 billion rubles ($165 million) in state-asset sales for the government, Director Andrei Stepanenko said.

The St. Petersburg-based sales organizer agreed with the Russian State Property Committee on Feb. 18 to sell stakes in 36 companies, Stepanenko said. The first auctions may be announced in May, Stepanenko said in an interview today.

“Most of the assets are attractive enough,” said Stepanenko. “The Auction House is holding talks with potential bidders including control stakes owners.”

Russia plans to push ahead with a record $10 billion of asset sales this year as it seeks to stem capital flight and pare back the state’s hold over the economy, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said last month. The government failed to reach a similar goal last year.

Russia will fall short of its targets for proceeds from asset sales in 2012 and 2013 as high energy revenue discourages efforts to weaken the state’s hold on the economy, Julia Tsepliaeva, head of research at BNP Paribas SA in Moscow, said on Dec. 7 in an e-mailed note.

The Auction House will prepare sales including 13.11 percent of OAO Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant, 25.5 percent of OAO Murmansk Shipping, 20 percent of OAO Northern Shipping, 25.5 percent of OAO Sakhalinsky Sea Shipping and 25.5 percent of OAO Anapa Airport.

The Stocks of Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant and Sakhalin Shipping could be sold in the first phase, he said.

Russia may earn 100 billion rubles in state-asset sales in 2013, Russian Economy Minister Andrey Belousov said today in Berlin, RIA Novosti reported.