Russia could lower its stake in oil giant Rosneft

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Associated Press

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 5:33 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 19 at 5:34 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov says the government might sell some of its shares in state-owned oil giant Rosneft.

The Russian government owns about 75 percent of Rosneft and has been planning to lower its stake to 50 percent plus one share. The state was originally supposed to shed 15 percent this year, but the plans were scrapped.

Shuvalov told Russian news agencies on Friday that the government would consider selling a stake in 2013 and 2014, depending on market conditions. Both Rosneft managers and officials agree that they need to pick "the best time" to sell and find a "quality investor, he said.

Shuvalov declined to comment on market speculation that Rosneft is poised to buy BP's half in Russian oil producer TNK-BP.

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