As in 2000 and 2001, the government planned to sell 5.9 % (50 million) shares in Lukoil as ADRs at the London Stock Exchange in August of 2002. However, the Board of Directors of the Company of project privatization responsible for the transaction considered the bid insufficient (although it was close to the market price considering the current quotations at RTS). However, the transaction was completed in December of 2002. According to estimates, the placement took place at the maximal possible price (US $ 15.5 per share, demand exceeded supply twofold, the total proceeds from the placement made US $ 775 million). Therefore, the state still owns a 7.6 % block of shares in the company, which it does not plan to sell as yet. The prospects of sale of the residual block of shares are related, in particular, to the dynamics of the average price of shares in the company in 2003, what depends both on oil prices on world markets, and the implementation of the restructuring program for the company. It shall be mentioned that many developments relating to the operations of the company in 2002 (cancellation of the Iraqi contract in the framework of the production sharing agreement concerning the deposit “West Kurna – 2,” withdrawal from the consortium “Azeri-Chirag-Gyuneshli,” the sale of the tanker fleet of ice class, the anticipatory redemption of bonds convertible into Lukoil shares initiated by the “British Petroleum” in January of 2003, the refusal to participate in privatization of Slavneft in spite of the submitted application, etc.) are not interpreted in favor of the prospects of company’s further development. It shall be also noted that, in contradistinction to the overwhelming majority of largest Russia’s oil companies, the shares in Lukoil freely circulated on the market may make, according to estimates, from 52 % to 54 % of its authorized capital in the beginning of 2003.
As in previous years, it was planned to sell shares in the Svyazinvest holding, however, these plans were delayed until 2003. It is expected that the process of merger of holding’s companies and creation of seven interregional operators may be completed only by end-2002. Besides, the possibility of increase in capitalization of the holding and, respectively, effective privatization of the block of shares remaining in the state ownership are related to the tariff reform and social burden on the regional companies.
As concerns the 19.68 % of shares in Slavneft, initially it was envisaged to hold a simple auction in October or November of 2002 (approximate size of the block was at about US $ 300 to 350 million).
The pre-privatization scandals concerning the appointment of the Slavneft management and constant changes in the planned scheme of privatization, as in many other cases, determined the problematic nature of this transaction. Alongside the acute clash of interests of different financial and industrial clans and the “international” aspect of privatization (10.83 % of shares owned by Belorussia), it is important to take into account the fact that Slavneft is the last Russian oil state-dominated company planned for privatization (privatization of Rosneft has not been planned as yet). Russia owned 75 % of shares (55.27 % was owned by the Property Ministry, 19.68 % was owned by the Russian Federal Property Fund). The closed joint stock company “DKK” is the nominal holder of 13.18 % of shares owned by a trust company (Sibneft and TNK own 25 % of shares in this company each, other shareholders are unknown).
The struggle over this privatization deal had started long before the auction. In April of 2002, M.
Gutseriev was replaced by Yu. Sukhanov, representing the interests of Sibneft, as the President of the company. The purchase of the blocking interests in Yaroslavnefteorgsintez and Megionneftegaz by the tandem of Sibneft and TNK became an apparent warning to potential competitors (especially taking into account the specifics of corporate conflicts). While the government discussed different schemes of privatization, an active buying up of shares in Slavneft subsidiaries continued in 2002, what would permit to replace the respective boards of directors even before privatization and carry out additional issuance of shares. Control over subsidiaries also makes less possible fierce competition in the course of privatization of the holding and creates favorable prerequisites for the consolidation (transition to the single share) after the completion of the privatization transaction and obtaining controlling interest in the consolidated company. The last “pre-sale” stage was the purchase of the Belorussia-owned block of shares in Slavneft by Sibneft and TNK without competition and at a price only slightly exceeding the starting price. There is also information that the debt of Slavneft as calculated per metric ton of extracted oil significantly increased in 2001 through 2002.
In the summer of 2002, the principal privatization plan envisaged the sale of 19.68 % of shares in 2002, and the sale of the block of shares “5.27 % minus one share” in 2003, what allowed to retain state control. However, according to estimates, the sale of the controlling interest would ensure greater transparency and intensification of competition (as confirmed by privatization of 85 % of shares in ONAKO). An alternative would be the development of the market of company’s shares on the threshold of privatization.
As a result, on December 18, 2002, the controlling block of shares (74.95 %, or more than 3.billion of ordinary shares) was put up for the auction, however, the competitiveness of the transaction is in doubt. The auction was won by the company “Investoil” representing the interests of Sibneft and TNK, which offered US $ 1.86 billion (the starting price was at US $ 1.7 billion), or Rub. 58.7 billion.
Although according to various estimations the block of shares could bring US $ 2 to 4 billion, the controlling threshold established by Sibneft and TNK (blocking interests in the holding and subsidiaries) somewhat limited the maximal potential proceeds from the transaction. However, an acute competition and higher revenues could have taken place, therefore, the last stage of struggle for Slavneft was the removal of potential competitors at the stage of submission of applications. Although we do not know what arguments were put forward by Sibneft and TNK, LUKOIL, Surgutneftegaz, and YUKOS having sufficient resources for participation in the auction refused to participate practically a day before the date of the auction referring to unspecified financial, economic, and legal problems. The company acting on behalf of Rosneft (although the right of the latter to participate in the auction was rather doubtful) was not permitted to participate by the decision of a regional court. A most dangerous competitor – Chinese company CNPC had to recall the application under the threat that the transaction could be invalidated (in spite of the preceding promotion campaigns aimed to attract foreign investors, before the auction there was carried out a massive pressure campaign (including proposals to officially prohibit participation of foreign companies with large state participation in Russian privatization)6. As a result, 7 companies were prohibited to participate in the auction by courts, while 7 other companies acted (in some way) on behalf of Sibneft and TNK.
Therefore, the problem of large privatization transactions in Russia traditionally remains outside technical procedures (choice of the effective method of sale), but directly depends on administrative and political resources of potential competitors.
As the result, the tandem of winners obtained 98.96 % of shares in Slavneft. There are various options of further reorganization of Slavneft in interests of the winners (division of assets, merger with Sibneft with respective compensation for TNK, etc.), however, it would be prematurely to make concrete conclusions. At the same time, the attitude towards the remaining minority shareholders of Slavneft became apparent already in the beginning of 2003. In accordance with Article 80 of the law “On joint stock companies” the purchaser of respective block of shares shall propose the minority shareholders to buy their shares at the market price not below the weighted average over 6 months prior to the date of purchase, however, the winner of the auction intends not to use the offer.
The prognosis plan (program) of privatization of federally owned property for 2003 was approved by the RF government (Resolution No. 1155-r of August 20, 2002, as amended on October 9, 2002).
The target privatization revenues in 2003 shall be at about Rub. 51 billion. For the data on renewable sources see Table 1 (in accordance to federal law No. 176 of December 24, 2002). Revenues from privatization of land shall make about Rub. 2.2 billion.
Another option is to use Presidential decree No. 2284 of December 24, 1993, “On state program of privatization of state and municipal enterprises in RF” (as amended on April 3, 2002). One of the provisions of the decree stipulates that the government shall decide on the participation of foreign investors in a number of privatization transactions, however, the resolution of the RF government of October 9, 2002, on privatization of Slavneft does not envisage possible participation of foreign investors.
According to the Privatization Program, it is planned to privatize shares in 628 joint stock companies (including the completion of privatization of 598 joint stock companies, what makes 95 % of the total number of enterprises planned for privatization in 2003) and 435 SUEs. As concerns other joint stock companies, it is envisaged to retain in state ownership blocks of shares making respectively 51 % and 25.5 % of their authorized capitals. Privatization of SUEs (the RF Property Ministry reviews the conversion of SUEs into joint stock companies as the main priority of 2003) shall be carried out by the way of their conversion into open joint stock companies or by selling their property complexes. In 2003, privatization of SUEs and joint stock companies shall be most intensive in the agri-industrial, fuel and energy (FEC), and defense and industrial complexes. As concerns FEC, it is primarily envisaged to sell shares in joint stock companies belonging to oil and natural gas complex and power engineering, while privatization process in the coal mining industry shall be practically completed. As concerns the agri-industrial complex, taking into account the relatively higher share of privatized enterprises, privatization will focus on shares in joint stock companies engaged in production and supply of bread products and refrigerating integrated enterprises. A considerable part of SUEs and JSCs planned for privatization consists of enterprises of sea, river, and motor transport. Among large enterprises selected for privatization in 2003 are Svyazinvest (25.5 % minus 2 shares), as well as Magnitogorsk metallurgical integrated works (17.84 %), trading port “Pevek,” “Baikal” airlines, and a number of others. In 2003, there shall be also sold state owned shares in 6000 (714 registered) commercial banks previously owned by SUEs, the greater part of which was transferred to the balance sheet of the RF Property Ministry.
Alongside with the “launching” of new privatization instruments stipulated by the current legislation, resolution of the RF government No. 845 of December 3, 2002, which stipulates that professional operators of the securities market shall be permitted to participate in privatization of state owned property (in fact, it concerns the right of broker companies, which would win special tenders, to act as intermediaries in the process of sales of shares at the stock exchange). It is apparent that this decision is primarily aimed at the acceleration of sales of minority blocks of shares remaining in the state ownership. At the same time, this decision rises again the traditional problem of departmental approach to the selection of professional operators of the securities market for participation in privatization transactions.
On the whole, it is necessary to note that at present the Concept of managing state owned property and privatization (1999) needs a serious revision, first of all, from the viewpoint of formation of a single system of management of state owned property (assets) in the RF, which would permit to achieve property (material) ensuring of fulfillment of state functions and optimization of the structure of federally owned property. The idea of formation of such a single system basing on the classification of federally owned property and improvement of new mechanisms of management of its component objects shall become the basis for the further elaboration of the normative and legal grounds of privatization and management of state owned property.
A. D. Radygin Household Deposits: Dynamics in The dynamics of bank household deposits7 in 2002 provides evidence that this segment of banking services experiences a certain recovery. While after the crisis of 1998 the share of household deposits in bank liabilities (without Sberbank) declined almost twofold (by end-1999 it was at 5.6 %), by end2001 this indicator increased up to 8.4 %, and by October of 2002 – up to 10.9 %. In case only the banks attracting household deposits were reviewed, these indicators would make 8.6 % and 11.3 % respectively (see Table 1). The amount of bank household deposits in comparable prices in the first months of 2002 (without Sberbank) increased by 39 % (what is somewhat below the figures registered in the respective period of 2001, when the increase made 42.4 %). As Figure 1 demonstrates, the increase in the household deposits outpaces the rate of growth in assets since late 2000, respectively, banks gradually recover the pre-crisis level of household deposits in their balance sheets.
At this background, the amount of household deposits in Sberbank in comparable prices has increased only by 18.7 % over the first three quarters of 2002. As a result, the share of Sberbank, as Here and below without banks under ARCO management.
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