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Kremlin to offload Rosneft shares

  |   Sept. 12, 2011 at 8:20 AM
MOSCOW, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The Kremlin plans to sell off 15 percent of its shares in Russian oil company Rosneft by next year, a spokesman for the company said.

An unidentified spokesman for Rosneft told the Platts news service that the Russian Ministry of Economic Development submitted plans to sell off 15 percent of its holdings in Rosneft.

"The economic development ministry has submitted its proposal but the final decision on selling a stake is up to our main shareholder, the Russian government," the spokesman said.

The Russian government holds a 75 percent stake in Rosneft, the country's largest oil company.

A collapsed deal between Rosneft and British energy company BP for exploration in the arctic was seen as a break toward privatization. The deal collapsed after shareholders with TNK-BP, a Russian joint venture with BP, complained of violations of the shareholder agreement.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin in April resigned as board chairman of the Russian oil company. His move followed orders by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to have state officials pull out of executive positions at major institutions to increase competition.

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