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Private hands are waiting for "Russian Post"

Ministry of Communications offers to privatize FSUE

Ministry of Communications has introduced the draft law on privatizing "Russian Post", the largest FSUE under the Ministry to the public discussion. In the Ministry of Communications they hope to privatize the company by the end of 2014, with the proviso that the timing of privatization must determine Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The draft law " On peculiarities of corporatization of "Russian Post" and amendments to some legislative acts of the Russian Federation" provides for the conversion of FSUE without the inclusion of a "Post" in the forecast plan for privatization. The very decision of privatization, as the project suggests, is made by the Federal Property Management Agency in coordination with the Ministry of Communications. All shares of "Russian Post" become the property of the Russian Federation, according to the project the powers of attorney of the owner shall exercise of the Ministry of Communications .

Yesterday the Ministry of Communications published a draft presidential decree on exclusion of "Russian Post" from the list of strategic enterprises and joint-stock companies, where FSUE was included at the end of March. As the deputy head of the Ministry of Communications Michael Evraev explained "Ъ", companies included in the list are not subjects to joint-stock companies until they are excluded from it . "We are confident that the "Post" will be released from the list of strategic enterprises, will be corporatized and will be brought back in there. Nobody believes that "Russian Post" will cease to be a strategic enterprise", - said Mr. Evraev .

In addition, the decree provides for amendments to the State 's privatization program, approved by Boris Yeltsin in 1993. As stated in the explanatory memorandum to the draft decree, the state program is a ban on the privatization of the Federal Office of postal services in the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation. Although this body no longer exists, probably there is "more than one interpretation" of the rule, so it is proposed to be deleted. The Yeltsin government program also prohibits the privatization of civil defence objects, which belongs to the "Post", so the draft decree proposes not to distribute the application of this rule to the FSUE. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, last night was not available for comment .

Last 10 years the government plans to privatize the "Russian Post". In the 2004 annual report of FSUE  Igor Sirtsov, at the time CEO of the post, said: "I am confident, that in 2005 the process of unification of the Russian Post will be completed and the company will proceed to the final stage of restructuring - corporatization". For 2012, the proceeds of "Russian Post" was 128.9 billion roubles, loss of sales - 4.9 billion roubles, at a debt of 22 billion roubles.

Last year, the head of the Ministry of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov announced that the ministry will prepare a separate law on privatizing of the "Post" following the example of the law of selling shares of JSC Russian Railways. But, says partner at the "Justus" law firm Eugene Zhilin, Railways were created by government decree, not federal law , and Railways "were created from scratch, and there was introduced a property complex of a number of state-owned enterprises".

The draft law on privatizing of post address many of the provisions relating to the transfer of property as fast as possible to the "Russian Post" on the land and other property, said Eugene Zhilin. In particular, the rule which states that in the absence of boundaries of land to be privatized, does not preclude the inclusion of such land in the act of transferring property ownership of FSUE. "It feels like it's been contacted federal officials, without reference to the realities on the ground. Regions feel that this is their land", - says the lawyer.

According to Mr. Zhilin, to convert FSUE to JSC "quite a few months are enough" , but an estimate of the property to make it the share capital of, and the transfer of property rights can hardly be made before the end of 2015. Michael Evraev noted that the timing of incorporation of "Russian Post" will be determined by the results of the meeting in the government, though the ministry expect to complete the procedure in 2014.