Rostelecom named in Russian state’s sell-off plans

Rostelecom named in Russian state’s sell-off plans

According to the Russian news agency Tass, a draft forecast plan for privatisation of blocks of shares in the biggest companies in the country includes the government cutting its stake in operator Rostelecom.

The information comes from government data outlining the privatisation of federal property between 2020 and 2022. The companies targeted are said to have a leading position in their respective economic sectors.

That’s certainly a reasonable description of Rostelecom, a dominant name in Russian telecommunications provision. On the company’s website it is described as “Russia’s largest provider of digital services and solutions with presence in all market segments, and passing through millions of Russian households, governmental and private organizations”.

The company is particularly strong in Russian broadband internet access and pay-TV markets, claiming over 13 million broadband internet users and 10.2 million pay-TV users.

Along with Rostelecom, the state is considering selling its stake in hydroelectric power generation company Rushydro, oil company Transneft and power operator Rosseti, among others.

The Russian government has ownership of Rostelecom through the federal agency for state property management, possessing around 45 per cent as share capital and 48.7 per cent as ordinary shares.

What this means for future ownership of the telecommunications giant is not clear, although news reports indicate that Russian bank VTB will receive a 17 per cent stake in Rostelecom, as part of a deal to sell its 55 percent stake in operator Tele2 Russia to Rostelecom. Rostelecom owns a 45 per cent stake in Tele2 Russia.

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