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For some the privatization of Russian industry has been one of the great success stories of Russias painful economic transition quick firm and radical action was taken to shift the great bulk of Russian industry out of state hands thereby laying the basis for a radical restructuring of enterprises and improvements in their performance Others see privatization as a best a failure at worst a catastrophe Not surprisingly those opposed to the market and economic reform as a whole share this view But many commentators who see themselves as supporters of reform find plenty in Russian privatization to criticize the process led to the transfer of ownership to inappropriate people and as a consequence no beneficial restructuring of enterprises or the economy can be expected While this paper will attempt to cover the three key facets of privatization that enterprises be transferred to private ownership that the new owners be able de jure and de facto to exercise ownership rights and finally and ultimately most importantly that the new owners exercise their ownership rights in such a way as to bring about improvements in enterprise performance The key issues to be surveyed therefore are who as a result of privatization obtained ownership of Russian industrial assets and are they appropriate owners can new owners particularly if they are appropriate owners exercise their ownership rights and has privatization led to improvements in enterprise performance The paper will deal with privatization only within the industrial sector thereby ignoring the highly controversial privatizations of the last twelve months or so in the energy and utility sectors Who are the new owners Global data showing about 70 of GNP being produced in the private sector reflects the high levels of privatization of industrial enterprises with the great bulk of enterprises having been privatized by mid-1994 However privatization does not necessarily mean the complete removal of the state from an equity involvement in enterprises State ownership The
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