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Report: Russian finance ministry abandons plan to sell stake in VTB

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov asked Russia's State Duma to exclude JSC VTB Bank which has been hit by Western sanctions — from the country's privatization plan, Reuters reported June 6.

The finance minister reportedly said the current price of the lender's shares does not reflect the market value at which they could be sold if VTB was not affected by sanctions.

The Russian government wanted to sell a 10.9% stake in VTB in 2017, after which the proportion of state-owned voting shares in the lender would fall to 50% plus one share from 60.9%. The EU and the U.S. both imposed sanctions on the state-controlled bank in 2014 due to Russia's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.