(Reuters) – Russia is considering spending around 107 billion roubles ($1.34 billion) from its National Wealth Fund (NWF) to recapitalise flagship airline Aeroflot, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed source.
The planned move is part of a new package of measures that the government is preparing to support economic development following Western sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
The NWF, which accumulates the country’s oil revenues, will buy into a new share issue by Aeroflot via an open subscription and spend a further 57 billion roubles on equity stakes in other Russian airlines to help them pay debts, Interfax reported.
According to Interfax, the government’s stake in Aeroflot must not fall beyond the current 57.34% as a result of the new share sale.
Russia spent 80 billion roubles buying Aeroflot shares in 2020 to help it weather the coronavirus crisis.
Aeroflot and the Russian finance ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
News site RBC reported on Tuesday that the government was discussing an additional share issue by Aeroflot that would be paid for by the NWF, whose assets stood at $155.2 billion last month.
($1 = 79.7500 roubles)
(Reporting by Reuters)