Russia is unlikely to float shipping group Sovcomflot before the autumn, joining the ranks of countries and companies to push back initial public offerings (IPOs) due to volatile financial markets.
"We are unlikely to have enough time to prepare an IPO before autumn. We should use common sense as the market does not allow to get a normal price at the moment," deputy transport minister Viktor Olerskiy told reporters on Thursday.
Russia's state-owned shipping group postponed plans for a flotation last year and said in September it would not try again before the second quarter of this year at the earliest.
The company was aiming to raise between $750 million and $1.25 billion from the flotation of a 25 percent stake, with the whole firm valued at $3-5 billion, sources close to the potential placement told Reuters last July.
A string of companies have delayed IPOs in recent weeks as the euro zone debt crisis rattles financial markets.
Luxury jeweller Graff Diamonds pulled its planned $1 billion Hong Kong IPO on Thursday, while Georgia postponed a planned London listing of its state railways monopoly last week.
Olerskiy did not specify the size of stake which could be sold during a Sovcomflot IPO and did not exclude that a private placement or auction could be used instead.
Russia's privatisation drive, announced two years ago and aimed at raising competitiveness along with boosting the budget with additional revenues, has stalled due to recent market instability.
The state managed to sell a 10 percent stake in its No.2 lender VTB last February, but the privatisation of larger peer Sberbank has been postponed from last September.
The government is expected to announce adjustments to its privatisation list and schedule in the coming weeks.