Large-scale privatization in Belarus: a bluff or reality?

Valery Karbalevich: "Document of the Ministry of Economy on the privatization of large companies looks like a sensation or even a revolution in the economic policy of the Belarusian authorities. Indeed, until now the policy has been almost reversed.
Lukashenko claimed more than once: Why privatize municipal enterprises, if they work well? In contrast, in the past wasprogramm and started the nationalization of several companies by voluntary forced sale of shares of joint stock companies to the state in exchange for loans.
And the next moment. In all post-socialist countries, the privatization began with small, medium enterprises, trade and personal services, and agriculture. And only at the final step it came to large companies, the privatization of which approached very cautiously.
A proposed here do opposite. The document referred to the Ministry of Economy of the flagships of the privatization of the Belarusian economy, companies petrochemical MAZ others. What does it all mean? What is behind this document? This is a political move control of the country or just offer only the Ministry of Economy, which it did on your own risk? "
"We need to lower the hype, the degree of attention to this event"
Tatiana Manyanok: "In 1-x, it is necessary to lower the hype here, degree of attention to this event. Important to note that this list of companies for privatization appeared as a supplement to programmke activities to achieve a positive balance of its foreign policy this year.
The analysis of this list is skepticism. After privatization need pre-sale preparation. And at the moment, apart from the brewery "Krynica" and "Belsolod", in relation to other companies such training is not. Especially since, in the list of many municipal unitary enterprises.
And for privatization must first reincarnate them into joint stock companies. In Belarus, the corporatization process takes six to eight months. Because privatize this year their unrealistic.
In principle, the Belarusian companies have the enthusiasm of foreign investors. For example, in 1998 the Russian company wanted to participate in the privatization of the MAZ. Then MAZ was prepared for privatization, were derived from it non-core assets.
Perhaps the emergence of this document — some attempt. I do not think that the economic situation so tragic, that offer to sell oil factory. This will happen later, after three or four years when conditions are fundamentally swap oil and gas supplies. Until that time they will be the main currency earners municipal treasury. "
"The fact is that, for sure, ice regard"
Alexander Klaskouski: "If you look at the root of this phenomenon, the commonplace reason: not enough money. Appreciation of Russian energy punch a hole in the budget. Its necessary to glue, to find funds to support the Belarusian model. Because when we talk about the need for services surplus, it is not an end in itself but a means of preserving the status quo public.
Experts says that at some point will begin selling the "family silver". You can speculate about how these businesses are ready for privatization or greater determination of the authorities to be momentum. But the fact is that, for sure, ice regard.
The emergence of the plan symptomatic in the sense that it indicates some breaking mindset authorities. They have to step over themselves.
In fact, for the authorities comfortable that if municipal economy, the country is fully managed. The more non-state sector, the greater the possible resource changes in society. Because, on the one hand, draw in economic reasons, and on the other hand, creepy issue municipal enterprise with hands, as so issued, and power. "
Karbalevich: "There are some real steps towards liberalization. So, two Belarusian bank to sell a majority of its own shares two Russian banks. Lukashenko sees great entrepreneurs from Austria, Cyprus and offers them vkladyvatelnaya projects.
But large-scale privatization means dismantling or transformation of the Belarusian social model. After such privatization — the question is not only economic, but social and political first.
After all Belarusian enterprises bear for themselves not only the severity of the social sphere (holiday homes, kindergartens), and support for unprofitable companies from the province or even farms, which forcibly annexed to the industry giants.
But private owner must be to throw it all — in fact, reduce employees at the main plant, because at every municipal enterprise to almost a third of redundant workers. This rise in unemployment, the emergence of social and political problems. "
"System market reforms are needed"
Manyanok: "While the Belarusian authorities for nothing ventured. Only plans. Harsh To scale investors came to the Belarusian economy, required system market reform — as a big risk.
Just one example. Thus, a large shareholder Mozyr refinery is Russian company "Slavneft". But the authorities have taken in the past year, $ 100 million of profit refinery in the State Development Fund. This caused outrage "Slavneft".
Against this background, the company is unlikely to severe come here. Anyway, they will put a condition: to give them a controlling stake. But Lukashenko stated that the first step of a controlling stake in the country remains the Belarusian.
In 2003, an attempt was also privatized. Then the government put up for sale "Naftan", "Polymer", "Nitrogen", "Man-made fiber." Enthusiasm for it showed several Russian companies. But when we met with the criteria of privatization (controlling interest remained in the country of Belarus), do not even have applied for the role. This could be repeated at the moment. "
"The Belarusian side fills cost"
Karbalevich: "Even if a foreign company acquires a controlling stake, the authorities have a tool such as the right of the" golden share ".
Klaskouski: "I think the Belarusian management will try to keep to the last in his own hands is a weapon that you mentioned: a controlling stake," golden share ". Plus the load potential investors will get more social package: kindergartens, saving of labor and other .
But I think such a room will not work now. After all, between Belarus and Russia began a public relations such a duel. On the one hand, Prime Sidorsky says, do not expect to buy for a penny. In short, the Belarusian side fills worth.
And in the Russian media friendly company went to knock down the price of Belarusian companies. There are mentioned all old grudges (scandal with "Baltika", promises the other day of the presidential election in 2001) and they say: we do not believe until hard guarantees. A western businesses have become more willing to play hard and transparent rules.
Because I think that foreign investors will press and force the Belarusian little control (albeit painfully and inconsistently) crosses the usual market conditions in the privatization. "
"I do not think it’s unique PR campaign with the release of disk imaging in the Russian media"
Karablevich: "Maybe it’s just diplomatic move and nothing more? Mentioned here, as recently the 2001 presidential election, when Lukashenko needed the support of the Kremlin, he also read about privatization, often perceived Russian oligarchs. Some, like "Baltika", even managed to make investments here. And after the election, none of these projects has not been implemented.
Maybe a similar scenario develops at the moment. It is no coincidence document Ministry of Economy appeared immediately appeal to the Government of Belarus to the Russian Federation on the allocation of interest-free loan and a half billion dollars. And the privatization project, maybe a carrot — t
hat Moscow’s decision on a request for a loan was more appropriate. As for you, this version? "
Manyanok: "Such a version can not be excluded. Indeed, at the moment there is much promise. But the problem is that the situation in the Belarusian economy worsened and will deteriorate further. And if the funds will be missed, you have determined to go for privatization."
Klaskouski: "I do not think that this kind of sophisticated PR campaign with the release of disk imaging in the Russian media. Believe that everything is easier. Was ordered employees of the Ministry of Economy feverishly to create a plan for the services surplus of foreign trade activities, to find the means. Both rapidly plan nakidali. Ultimately, the decision of the country perceives one person . "
Karbalevich: "So Makar, proposals of the Ministry of Economy of the large-scale privatization is revolutionary, and that is why it is necessary to treat them carefully. After privatization destroys Belarusian social model, which is based on power. On the other hand, the appearance of this document there is an implicit recognition of the severe problems in the economy Belarus ".

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