Russia's Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has said that preparations to sell a part of the state's stake in crude oil giant Rosneft are under way.

Ulyukayev said the sale could be executed in two tranches, RIA Novosti reported.

The Russian government has said it plans to sell 19.5% of the world's top oil producer by output.

Earlier in August, Rosneft requested a $42bn (£25.3bn, €31.8bn) loan from a fund created for Russian pensions as it sought to limit the impact of Western sanctions.

Rosneft asked the National Wealth Fund to buy 1.5tn roubles ($41.3bn) of its bonds in order to cover its net debts, Reuters reported, citing a government source.

BP Warning

In July, BP warned the markets that additional sanctions on Russia could have a "material adverse" impact on its investments, business and financial position despite a surge in profits during the first six months of the year.

In its results statement, the British oil giant revealed that profits rocketed by 34% to $3.6bn from the same period last year. That was also an increase of 13% from the first-quarter of 2014.

However, the financial outlook warning came in the wake of EU and US sanctions on the Russian Federation and individuals connected to the government.

Rosneft, produces more oil than Iraq. It has been targeted by Western sanctions, while its chief executive Igor Sechin was also personally subjected to US sanctions.

Russia announced privatisation plans covering a host of companies in 2010 in a bid to boost state coffers and improve corporate governance. But attempts have been plagued by delays.