Rosneft–the largest Russianoil company still in state ownership–will be fully privatized before theend of this year, the cash-strapped Russian government announced yesterday.That is, of course, only if the government can find a buyer willing to putup the US$1.6 billion it is asking for the block of 75 percent of the sharescurrently being offered for sale. One month ago, when the government firstput the 75 percent block on the market at a starting price of US$2.1billion, it found no takers whatsoever. The government, however, exudesoptimism that this time a buyer will be found. Once the bulk of the companyhas been sold, Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko declared yesterday,the government will hold a special cash auction for the remaining shares.(Russian agencies, June 11)
RAILROADS STRIKE BACK AT ARMED FORCES.