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First Rosneft shares to be purchased by BP in 2013 – Dvorkovich

November 15, 2012, 2:40 UTC+3

The vice-prime minister confirmed that the government’s policy was to reduce the state’s share in the economy

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MOSCOW, November 15 (Itar-Tass) — The first shares of Rosneft will be acquired by BP in 2013 within privatisation, Vice-Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said.

In an interview with Le Figaro on Thursday, Dvorkovich said, “We will not give up partial privatisation of Rosneft. The first shares will be purchased by BP in 2013.”

The vice-prime minister confirmed that the government’s policy was to reduce the state’s share in the economy. “It is important for the state that this sale would allow us to raise Rosneft stocks in order to buy the part of them,” he added.

Commenting on relationship with Rosneft President Igor Sechin, Dvorkovich said: “Our approaches differ often. This is normal. It is important that no party will be counterproductive.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the purchase of the TNK-BP company by Russia’s state-owned oil corporation Rosneft did not mean that the latter will not privatised.

“Quite possibly I wouldn’t say the state needs to increase its stake if the situation were different,” Medvedev said adding however that the transaction is effectuated in the interests of the Russian Federation all the same.

“Given the current situation, the purchase of TNK-BP by Rosneft doesn’t mean the latter corporation won’t be privatized,” Medvedev said.

“Try and find anyone who could possibly afford buying of all this /the TNK-BP assets – Itar-Tass/,” he said. “In this sense, the purchase of this particular asset by a company controlled by the state but living in accordance with market laws makes up an absolutely transparent transaction,” Medvedev said.

“This transaction unfolded strictly in line with the laws of corporate life,” Medvedev said adding that the TNK-BP has been torn apart by conflicts inside the corps of shareholders. “Were I supposed to set up a company of this kind, I wouldn’t do it done it for toffee because such patterns always generate internal problems and if something happens to the shareholders then comes the deadlock,” Medvedev said.

The TNK-BP is a strategic asset for Russia, he said. “We can’t afford watching the situation idly and that’s why the government keeps an eye on what’s happening,” Medvedev said.

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