(Adds more details)
By Katya Golubkova and Kira Zavyalova
MOSCOW, Sept 30 The privatisation of a 25
percent stake in Russian state shipping firm Sovcomflot may be
equally split between existing and new shares, two sources close
to the deal told Reuters on Friday.
The stake sale in Sovcomflot, Russia's biggest shipping
company whose vessels support offshore oil and gas operations,
is part of a wider state asset sale aimed at plugging holes in
the state budget.
Revenue from the sale of existing shares goes to the
existing shareholder, in the case of Sovcomflot the Russian
state. Meanwhile money raised from the sale of new shares goes
to the company itself, which it can use for development.
One of the sources close to the sale said the options being
considered were to sell 25 percent in existing shares, or
alternatively to sell half of that 25 percent stake in existing
shares, and half in new shares.
The source said which option would be selected would depend
on how much revenue the state wanted to gain from the sale.
A second source, who is familiar with the deal, also said
that the option of an equal split between new and existing
shares was being considered.
If that is the option chosen, "it would be good for
investors to see that shares they invested in are 'cash in', for
development," the second source said.
In response to questions from Reuters, the Economy Ministry,
which is overseeing the privatisation, said it was "currently
waiting the report of the agent with preliminary recommendations
on the deal. At the moment it is premature to talk of any
options for the deal."
A spokesman for Sovcomflot, asked by Reuters to comment,
said it is up to the state, as shareholder, to decide on the
terms of the stake sale.
TIMING OF SALE
Russian energy giants including Gazprom Neft, Novatek and
Sakhalin Energy, which runs Russia's sole liquefied natural gas
plant (LNG), are among Sovcomflot's clients.
Both sources said the stake sale could take place either
this autumn or next spring, but that the timing was still under
Also under consideration was the location for the sale, with
Moscow and New York bourses the options.
The first source said that the placement is likely to take
place in Moscow and in the spring, after markets normalise in
the wake of any turbulence that might follow the U.S.
"There are no arguments for a placement in New York, apart
from showing off. The government is not very fond of this idea,"
the first source said.
The Russian economy ministry has previously said it wanted
to raise 24 billion roubles ($380 million) from the sale of the
($1 = 63.1300 roubles)
(Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Christian Lowe)