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Oil Tycoon Offers $2 Billion To Buy Back Lost Assets

Mikhail Gutseriyev, a Russian tycoon with oil and banking holdings, is offering to buy part of his former assets that were transferred to the central bank two years ago, when Russia rescued some banks owned by his family.

According to a 60-page document that Reuters has seen, Gutseriyev is offering US$2.12 billion (136 billion Russian rubles) for the assets, including a stake in mid-sized oil company Russneft which the tycoon founded. Trust bank, which was transformed into a vehicle of ‘bad assets’ holdings by the Russian central bank in 2017, holds a stake in Russneft.

Gutseriyev’s offer to buy assets from the state is billions of US dollars below the US$11.7 billion (750 billion rubles) expenses for the bailouts in 2017, which the Russian state thinks it is entitled to claim. However, according to the document seen by Reuters, Russian officials recommend Gutseriyev’s offer be accepted, because the state would get the money much sooner than if it were to take the matter to court, where proceedings could drag the lawsuit on for up to five years.

Gutseriyev’s offer consists of both cash and non-cash parts, according to the document Reuters has seen.

Related: Will OPEC+ Declare War On U.S. Shale?

A stake in Russneft, a stake in a property developer, and some other stakes would raise US$1.5 billion (95 billion rubles) for the Russian government, while another US$640 million (41 billion rubles) would come from the re-evaluation of a stake in Russneft which Trust bank would keep.  

Russia is eager to collect soon, at least partially, the expenses for the bailouts of several banks in 2017, including such held by the family of Mikhail Gutseriyev. Several Russian banks had to be bailed out by the government in 2017, when the western sanctions on Russia due to the annexation of Crimea caught up with the banking industry, which had aggressively expanded before that.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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