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PARIS, March 14 (Reuters) - Russia plans to reduce its holdings in the state shipping company Sovcomflot in the first half of this year, Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told reporters on Tuesday.
He said the sale would be split between new and existing shares so the company can raise funds for its own development.
Oreshkin was speaking in Paris after meeting the French finance minister Michel Sapin and representatives of Franco-Russian business lobby.
"The deal on Sovcomflot suggests participation of a wide circle of investors ... If French banks or investors would like to buy a stake in this company, we would of course be glad," Oreshkin said.
The French finance minister said that the Russian privatisation programme and the participation of French companies in it was not discussed during the meeting. (Reporting by Maya Nikolayeva; editing by Katya Golubkova and Jane Merriman)