MOSCOW Jan 14 A small Russian refiner owned by
ex-government official Vladimir Kogan has declared an interest
in bidding for a stake in Russia's biggest port operator which
the government wants to sell, a newspaper reported.
Citing sources close to the port operator and the
government, business daily Vedomosti said on Monday refiner
Neftegazindustria wrote to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor
Shuvalov to declare an interest in the sale.
Vedomosti identified the company's owner as Vladimir Kogan,
who was head of a state construction agency responsible for
housing and utility construction in the government of Vladimir
Putin, who returned to the Kremlin last year for a third term as
president after serving a term as prime minister.
The government intends to sell a 20 percent stake in
Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port (NMTP) as part of a
new wave of privatisations that began last year and which aims
to raise up to $20 billion for state coffers.
Neftegazindustria owns the 100,000 barrels per day Afipsky
refinery in southern Russia. Company officials were not
immediately available for comment.
If it bids it would be competing with state oil company
Rosneft and port investor Summa. The latter, which
shares control of NMTP with state oil pipeline monopoly
Transneft, had been set to square off with Rosneft
for the stake.
NMTP's key assets are Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port and
the port of Primorsk. Both are key outlets for oil delivered by