Russia to finalise 2020-2022 privatisation goals on Dec. 19 -source

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will take a step forward with its long-awaited privatization program next week when it finalizes a list of companies it hopes to sell in 2020-2022, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Russia has been trying to sell some of these companies for years but has delayed the process, blaming either unfavorable market conditions or a lack of readiness by the companies themselves.

The list, to be finalised on Dec. 19, includes oil pipeline monopoly Transneft (TRNF_p.MM), railway operator Russian Railways, Aeroflot (AFLT.MM) airline, grid company Rosseti (RSTI.MM), power firm RusHydro (HYDR.MM), United Grain Company and shipping group Sovcomflot, the source said.

Russia’s finance ministry declined to comment on the specifics.

“Privatization is seen as a structural measure to reduce the share of government involvement in the economy, aimed at improving the efficiency of company management,” the ministry said in a statement.

In recent years, the government has managed to reduce its stake in VTB bank (VTBR.MM), Alrosa (ALRS.MM) diamond miner and some other smaller companies but has fallen short of its initial plan.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Christina Fincher

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