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Russia to proceed with major privatization following Alrosa's US$813M stake sale

After netting US$813 million from the of its 10.9% stake in , the Russiangovernment will continue with its major privatizations this year, Reuters reported July 11,citing senior government officials.

Russia is targeting up to 1 trillion Russian rubles fromprivatization sales this year.

The ALROSA stake deal, the largest state ownership sale fornearly four years, was deemed a success as investor sentiment toward Russia hasbeen affected by low oil prices and western sanctions over Russia's actions inUkraine.

"Foreign investors showed that despite the sanctionsregime, there is interest in liquid Russian assets," the report citedEconomy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev as saying. Foreign investors snapped up anestimated 60% of the shares offered.

Ulyukayev also confirmed plans to sell government stakes inoil firms Rosneft and Bashneft, shipping company Sovcomflot and VTB Bank.

As of July 11, US$1was equivalent to 64.02 Russian rubles.