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Rosneft CEO Rejects Selling Public Shares To China and India

Rosneft’s Igor Sechin rejected rumors alleging that the Russian company would sell the government’s 19.5 percent stake to a consortium of Chinese and Indian oil firms.

“We are not in talks with Chinese and Indian companies. We are not engaged. This is a government company and the government did not give such an order,” Sechin said in an interview with news channel Russia 24 on the 22nd of June 2016.

Sechin also asserted that Rosneft has pulled out of selling government-owned shares to the private market, which he blamed on “price volatility” and sanctions against the company.

Rosneft has attempted to open up more of its capital to the market and is reportedly considering seeking pacts with other oil producers. BP, which recommitted to its partnership with Rosneft in a $300 million Siberian oil project, has refused to participate in any asset sale on offer.

Sechin is looking to price shares at around $130 billion, which is roughly double the current market value of $56 billion.

Related: Saudi Oil Exports Reach Six-Month Low

The rumored deal rejected by Sechin would have raised some $11 billion and would have set a privatization record for Russia. The share sale could have helped raise capital and plug budget gaps, which would alleviate a Russian economy hit by low oil prices and sanctions against local banks and businesses like Rosneft.

China and India have each expressed interest in claiming a stake in Rosneft, while Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan did not rule out the possibility of both states collaborating in a joint bid.

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

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