What would you privatize?

Published: February 10th, 2016

Co-Chair of MEF Konstantin Babkin: "I would privatize some governmental power so it was not the privilege of chosen but actual people could take part in it ...."

In the next two years, the Russian government expects to receive more than a trillion rubles from the privatization. Among the possible assets for sale - state blocks of shares of "Aeroflot", ALROSA, "Bashneft", "Rosneft" and several other companies.

A number of state-owned companies, and above all - the railway. Also we need a strong, healthy competition in the field of mobile communication, aviation. The current government seems to have realized the inevitability of the path of movement, which paved Anatoly Chubais during the first wave of privatization. Then the young reformers have shown the ability to rational commercial management in accordance with the laws of the economy, rather than political or other expediency. The main thing is that the current privatization was as transparent as crystal legitimate, and all participants were on an equal footing.

Yevgeny Roizman, Mayor of Ekaterinburg

I would choose the "Rosneft" and "Aeroflot". But it is systemically important companies, and the state should be confident that they will work for the good of the country, not only to make profit for shareholders. Therefore, it is important that the assets were in the Russian jurisdiction. We will monitor the situation and, if necessary, influence the privatization of large companies.

Oleg Tsepkin, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building

There will not be shortage in the list. The country has at least 50% of companies with state participation. The banking sector is problematic to privatize - its condition is not very good. You can look at the resource and infrastructure sectors, transport. But we must act very carefully. The situation in our stock market is negative. Prices are low, the role of foreign investors dramatically reduced, demand has declined. It is an argument for not to privatize in wholesale.

Yaroslav Lissovolik, chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB)

There is a need to privatize everything that can be privatized, and  primarily a non-natural monopoly: innovative companies, nanotechnology. But now is quite a bad time for the privatization. I am afraid that it will end only with a shifting ownership from one pocket to another. Just privatization will not bring money, that means there is still the question -  we should start to be friends with the West, to remove sanctions, to end the issue with Ukraine, the Crimea, perhaps through compensation. We need decisive action and reform Administration by Gref. They are talking about privatization for ten years, but the rate was made on the state corporations. And nobody needs the independent market. If this trend persists, it all will be divided between insiders again.

Irina Khakamada, a member of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation

Currently it is better to sell underperforming companies. I would not privatize those working and producing a profit. All the same it does not solve problems of the budget. But in general, if there is a political solution anything will be sold.

Andrei Yakovlev, Director of the Institute for Industrial and Market of HSE

Nothing - I do not see the point. This privatization will give nothing, because its terms are contradictory. Minority stakes that are offered on sale do not allow to influence the strategic decision-making. The approach is denigrating- saving power of the state over the large companies that have proven completely ineffective. And it is very likely the repetition of the familiar scheme: buying and then reselling these packages to state structures, as it was with "Sibneft", which then went to "Gazprom".

Michael Krutikhin, consulting partner Rusenergy

I would privatize some governmental power so it was not the privilege of chosen but actual people could take part in it. The fact that the privatization will be held ugly, I'm sure of, but that it will solve the problem - no. I do not support privatization today. It is not the right time. Well, somebody will privatize the oil industry, "Transneft" or Russian Railways, so what? There are many problems, and where is the guarantee that the new management will solve them? And there is nothing to privatize in agriculture anymore, if only the land, but the issue is frozen.

Konstantin Babkin, the president of the Russian Association of agricultural machinery producers"Rosagromash"

 All that could be privatized are already privatized. Only strategically important enterprises, which can not be sold and companies that are national brands, such as "Vologda butter" remains. Unfortunately, the privatization we have will not be passing on the basis of the needs of a more effective development of economy but on the desire of certain powerful groups to get "delicious" state assets cheaply.

Elena Panina, Represantative of the State Duma, chairman of the Moscow Confederation of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

I would have privatized the forts around St. Petersburg. I like them very much! And the rest have all been privatized. Now there is a reprivatization - privatization from the privatisers. The usual change of power on the ground. Some kind of water cycle in nature, in which we can participate only as an observer.

Alexander Pokrovsky, writer

Source: КоммерсантЪ