Free alienation of shares to accelerate privatization in Belarus

The absence of any restrictions on the alienation of shares will be able to influence the privatization pace to some degree, he said. Potential investors will be more interested in taking part in privatization because they will get more opportunities for a consequent increase of their share in the joint-stock company through buying shares on the market.

The removal of the restrictions on the alienation of shares in line with decree No. 7 has led to an increase in operations with shares. In 2009 the secondary stock exchange market registered 6,561 deals, nearly 40% more than in 2008. H1 2010 saw 6,169 deals, almost as much as the entire year of 2009. The more vigorous secondary market will allow shaping the market price for shares and will create conditions for attracting new investors.

Citizens can buy shares from the government or from other shareholders. There are no restrictions on taking part in tenders and auctions that sell state-owned shares. On the secondary market shares can be bought via the stock exchange. However, shares of several joint-stock companies are not eligible for free trade till the end of the year.

Decree No. 7 gradually removes restrictions on the circulation of shares of the open joint-stock companies that have been set up via denationalization and privatization. The shares used to be ineligible for alienation earlier.

During the first phase, which started on 17 July 2008, alienation restrictions were lifted in joint-stock companies, where the state share is zero or makes 75% and more. The restrictions on the alienation of shares of joint-stock companies, which are involved in the processing of agricultural products, and baking companies have been completed removed.

During the second phase, which started on 1 January 2009, alienation restrictions were lifted in joint-stock companies, where the state share exceeds 50%. During the first and second phases restrictions stayed in place for joint-stock companies, which ensure the operation of strategic branches of the national economy. During the third phase, which starts on 1 January 2011, all the restrictions will be lifted.

According to