Russian sale of Transneft stake unlikely - paper
MOSCOW May 16 (Reuters) - Russia's deputy prime minister, Igor Sechin, opposes the sale of a stake in state oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, saying that public trading of the shares would complicate the firm's debt refinancing, Vedomosti reported on Wednesday.
The business daily, citing minutes from a government meeting on privatisation this month, said Sechin asked the energy ministry, the economy ministry and Transneft to "explain to potential investors the government position".
Sechin has long opposed the sale of government stakes in major commodity companies, including top oil producer Rosneft , and hydroelectric power producer RusHydro.
He has been nominated by President Vladimir Putin to the board of Russia's state energy holding company, ensuring he wil remain influential.
Transneft only has preferred shares in circulation, meaning the state has a 100 percent voting stake and a 78.1 percent economic interest.
Last year, the economy ministry proposed selling a 3 percent voting stake, in a proposal backed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was then president.
Transneft preferred stock, which more than doubled in value from October through April on hopes of further privatisation and higher dividends, has fallen 23 percent since peaking last month. (Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Dan Lalor)
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