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Russian premier says Rosneft stake sale is 'largest deal' in 2016

Bashneft, Rosneft privatization will totally bring more than $15.8 bln to Russia’s budget

OULU, December 9. /TASS/. Sale of a stake in Russian oil major Rosneft is the largest deal in oil and gas sphere, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

"This is the largest asset sale transaction in oil and gas sphere this year," the Prime Minister said. "It was prepared over a long time and certainly, its configuration is not accidental," Medvedev said.

"This is quite a successful placement. I’ve signed all regulatory enactments required for finalizing the agreements that have been reached," he said following the talks with his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila on Friday.

Medvedev said he had tasked to consider increase of dividends after completion of Rosneft stake privatization.

"I asked to work out the issue of increasing the dividend rate," he said.

An assignment was also given "to consider application of a range of opportunities and benefits to support operations of Rosneft, particularly for depleting fields or those with water content above the standard value," Medvedev said.

Medvedev said European, Japanese companies were involved in talks on Rosneft stake sale, consortium offered best terms. 

"Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, European companies were involved in the talks (on Rosneft stake sale)," he said after the talks with his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila on Friday, adding though that "the terms offered by the alliance (consortium of Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign fund that acquired the stake - TASS) turned out to be the most attractive."

The parameters of the transaction will enable the government "to solve a whole range of issues, including receipt of funds to the federal budget of the Russian Federation," he said. "In total, from the sales of shares in two oil companies Rosneft and before that Bashneft - more than 1 trillion rubles ($15.9 bln) will be allocated to the Russian federal budget," Medvedev said.

"The amount agreed [on sale of Rosneft shares] is higher than initially intended," Medvedev said. "No doubt, this is the result of successful work of Rosneft and its management and decisions made by the government," he added.

According to Prime MInister, "all privatization plans for this year have been implemented" as the transaction on sale of state-owned stake in Rosneft is finalized. "But what is more important is that the result of this and previous transactions is that the investment attractiveness of Russian assets and the Russian economy is crucially changing," he said, adding that the fact that foreign investors were ready to invest more than 10 bln euro in a Russian asses demonstrates their interest.

On December 7, Chief Executive Officer of Rosneft Igor Sechin reported to the Russian President that the privatization deal for the 19.5% stake in the company had been completed. A consortium of Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign fund (with equal shares) became the strategic investor and purchased shares for 10.5 bln euro.