June 19, 2013 / 6:42 AM / 6 years ago

Russia may sell Rostelecom stake to domestic rivals - report

MOSCOW, June 19 (Reuters) - Russia is considering selling its 53 percent stake in state-controlled telecoms operator Rostelecom to the company’s domestic rivals MTS , MegaFon and Vimpelcom, Kommersant reported on Wednesday.

“We wanted to create another player in addition to the big three,” Kommersant quoted a government source as saying, referring to privately-owned MTS, Megafon and Vimpelcom , which dominate Russia’s telecoms market.

“But we can go for a compromise,” the source said, adding Rostelecom could be sold to the big three.

An MTS spokesman said the company would examine any specific proposals. Rostelecom, Megafon and Vimpelcom declined to comment on the report.

Russia announced plans in 2010 to raise $50 billion in five years by selling off stakes in companies such as oil major Rosneft and the country’s two biggest banks, Sberbank and VTB.

But Russia has completed only a handful of privatisations so far. In telecoms, the government has faced criticism from the defence ministry which had opposed selling the stake to foreign investors.

Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva and Maya Dyakina. Editing by Jane Merriman

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