The Ministry of Finance supports the idea of directing funds from the privatization of state companies to implement the presidential decree on the development of the country until 2024. In total, 25 trillion rubles are required for these purposes, 8 trillion of which are yet to be found.
Privatization has ceased - this is wrong, said Deputy Minister of Finance Alexei Moiseev. "For a long time we talked about the fact that you can not be afraid for some companies to go below the share of 50% and go to [the level of] 25%," he said (quoted by TASS). The state can sell and part of the shares of the Savings Bank, Moiseyev said, but the state control should be maintained, in the case of the Savings Bank, the matter is "fundamental in nature." "Of course, this is state control. But, in principle, because there are prefs there, you can sell a little more, not yielding to the state control, "he added, stressing that a decision on this issue has not yet been made.
Taking into account preferred shares, which are all traded on the market, the share of the Central Bank in the authorized capital of Sberbank is 50% plus 1 share. In total, the regulator owns 52.32% of the bank's voting shares.
Last week, German Gref, president of the Savings Bank, suggested that the authorities consider privatization of state-owned banks as an alternative to raising taxes. He said he did not see "no reason" why the state should keep a controlling stake in Sberbank.
The central bank did not respond to the request. The privatization of Sberbank can be returned after the restoration of the banking market and the growth of confidence in private banks, said in November, Central Bank Chairman Elvira Nabiullina.
Based on quotations on the Moscow stock exchange, 2.32% of the ordinary shares of Sberbank on June 14 cost 107 billion rubles.
Theoretically, the state (represented by the Central Bank) could sell slightly more than 2% of voting shares and remain a controlling shareholder, says Fitch Ratings analyst Alexander Danilov: "The price of this package is not so great in comparison with the needs of the budget." There is also an alternative option, in which you can get a lot more money by lowering the state share below 50% while maintaining control over the "golden share" or shareholder agreement, he argues.
The proceeds from the sale of 2% of Sberbank will not help much in finding funds for the execution of the May decree, agrees BCS chief economist Vladimir Tikhomirov. The government has long advocated privatization, he adds, but to sell a large package, a favorable market situation is needed, which directly depends on geopolitics.
There is a situation when the state, having 50% plus 1 voting share, may lose control, Ivan Tertychnyy, partner of Tertychny Agabalyan, says: if the bank does not pay dividends on preferred shares, then their owners will have the right to vote at the shareholders' meeting.
The likelihood that Sberbank will suddenly fail or deliberately stop paying dividends on preferred shares tends to zero, Moody's analyst Olga Ulyanova notes. To do this, the bank needs to stop generating profits and generally lose all the features of its business model, which until now have been so attractive to shareholders, she points out. A significant decrease in the share of the Central Bank in Sberbank would indicate the maturity of the Russian economy, and would also be a logical and healthy solution for the bank itself, she adds.
Typically, the placement of liquid shares on the market implies a discount, says Mikhail Ganelin, an analyst with Aton. How it will be difficult to assess, he says. "In any case, interest in Sberbank shares will be - this is one of the most favorite securities from investors," he adds.
The attractiveness of securities is also increased by recent statements about the future dividend policy of the state bank, which plans to pay 1 trillion rubles for three years. dividends, says Ganelin. At the end of 2017, Sberbank sent 36.2% of its net profit under IFRS for dividends, or 271 billion rubles.