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Russian gov' t backs sale of 19.5% Rosneft stake in 2015

STEPHEN BIERMAN and OLGA TANAS

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s government backed a plan to sell next year a 19.5% stake in OAO Rosneft, the nation’s largest oil producer, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

Funds from the sale, potentially worth 423 billion rubles ($12.4 billion), will go to state holding company OAO Rosneftegaz, Siluanov told reporters in Moscow July 3. The government will decide later how much of the revenue will be transferred to the federal budget, he said.

President Vladimir Putin’s government is trying to revive a stalled plan to sell state assets as it ramps up spending to boost the economy. Russia will be courting investors for the oil giant, headed by U.S.-blacklisted CEO Igor Sechin, even after relations with Europe and the U.S. soured because of the conflict in Ukraine.

“We moved the sale forward from 2016 to 2015 so that we’d have the option to use the funds next year,” Siluanov said.

Rosneft’s shares advanced for a third day in Moscow, rising 0.9% to 257.57 rubles as of 4:01 p.m. The stock is up 2.4% this year, compared with a 1.1% gain in Russia’s Micex Index of 50 stocks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Russia sold a 5.66% stake in Rosneft to BP Plc for 150.7 billion rubles in 2013 as part of the state-controlled company’s acquisition of Russia’s third-largest oil producer, TNK-BP.

Rosneftegaz, a state-controlled company where Sechin is chairman, also holds shares in OAO Gazprom, Russia’s largest gas producer, and utility OAO Inter RAO.

07/03/2014

 

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