Russia could postpone major privatisation deals to the second half of the year, an official was quoted as saying on Tuesday, underlining the damage Moscow's stand over Ukraine
is wreaking on its markets
and economic health.
Russia's stock market, already hurt by an economic downturn, has crashed on concerns of possible stiff sanctions against Russia over its backing of a referendum on secession in Ukraine's Crimea region.
Olga Dergunova, head of the state property management agency, said on Tuesday the government could postpone major privatisation deals expected in the second quarter if the Ukrainian crisis took a heavy toll on Russia's economy.
"It may obviously (happen), we could do it in the third and in the fourth quarter," Dergunova was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.
She mentioned airline Aeroflot, shipping group Sovcomflot and oil major Rosneft as candidates for privatisation deals this year. Telecoms groups Rostelecom is also on the privatisation list.
A Russian official acknowledged for the first time on Monday that the economy was in crisis, undermining earlier attempts by officials to suggest albeit weakening growth could weather sanctions over Ukraine.
Although Russian shares and the rouble have recently rebounded on the view that Western sanctions over Crimea would be limited to individuals rather than including trade or financial measures, analysts are cautious.
"The medium to longer-term investment outlook for Russian equities remains relatively unattractive in our view," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a research note citing a negative outlook for Russian market earnings growth, poor outlook for GDP and investment growth and Russia's failure to materially improve investment climate.