Friday, February 11, 2005


Privatisation or nationalisation?

This year's G8 will be momentous. The global economy is suffering mounting stress. Apart from governments interfering in exchange rates, some are prepared to reverse the global trend of privatisation. A recent example is reported - 'Russia bars foreign-owned firms from key assets':

The Ministry for Natural Resources said companies would have to be at least 51 per cent Russian-owned to take part in this year's tenders for strategic oil and metals deposits. The rule may prevent oil companies such as ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco from developing new Russian oil reserves, and also stymie TNK-BP, a pioneering 50-50 owned Anglo-Russian oil company.

The ban is part of an increasingly clear trend by the Russian government to reassert control over strategic areas of the country's economy and keep foreigners out of the most lucrative assets. It comes days after Russian officials suggested that Siemens should not be allowed to buy Russia's engineering company Power Machines, which is also considered a strategic asset.
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