Kremlin considers privatisation to fill $37.5bn Russian budget shortfall


Russian budget shortfall: 
Russian officials have begin looking  to a new wave of privatisations as a means of  filling the hole in the government’s finances caused by the global slump in oil prices.With the cost of crude as low as $30 a barrel, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov last week announced that as much as $12.5bn  could be raised through privatisations over the next two years, with stakes in Rosneft, Sberbank and VTB at the  top of the agenda.
Opponents of the move argue that, with stock prices at rock bottom, the timing could not be worse, but analysts believe the economic crisis could  force the government’s hand, as it is currently  facing  a shortfall of around $37.5bn – or 20% of the entire budget – in the current fiscal year.
 At current market prices, the sale of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft,  25% in VTB and 10.9% in Sberbank would raise $6bn, $5.bn and $1.2bn respectively. Hundreds of smaller state enterprises are also scheduled to be put up for sale this year, but the state property management agency  Rosimushchestvo estimates that this would only raise $410m.