December 23, 2016 / 3:01 PM / a year ago

Russian Finance Minister says Rosneft deal had no impact on rouble

MOSCOW, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Russia’s finance ministry and the central bank managed to minimise the market impact from the privatisation of oil giant Rosneft, which required conversion of foreign currencies into roubles, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday.

Russia said earlier this month it sold a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and commodities trader Glencore. The deal had raised concerns that the transaction could boost the rouble volatility.

“We and the central bank had a task to minimise the impact from bringing foreign currency resources into the country. We met the challenge,” Siluanov said.

President Vladimir Putin said earlier on Friday that the Russian state budget had received a payment from the QIA and Glencore for the state stake in Rosneft.

Officials did not disclose details of the deal, such as how the foreign entities bought the stake in Rosneft and how the proceeds from the deal were transferred to the budget.

Speaking to reporters, Siluanov also said that his ministry is planning to issue the first-ever treasury bonds for households next year. He said the finance ministry aims at selling up to 30 billion roubles ($489.6 million) worth of bonds, known as “OFZ for people”, in the first quarter.

Commenting on economic prospects, Siluanov said gross domestic product may grow by up to 1.5 percent next year, which is more than had been expected earlier. This year, the economy is on track to contract by around 0.6 percent. ($1 = 61.2710 roubles) (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Polina Devitt)

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