Rosneft privatization: news shadows.

Un articolo oggi sul “Financial Times” solleva nuove ombre sulla privatizzazione di Rosneft nel quale Intesa Sanpaolo ha finanziato Glencore e Qia per rilevare il 19,5% del colosso energetico russo.

Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund acquired a stake in Russian oil group Rosneft last month with significant help from sanctioned state bank VTB, according to documents. VTB provided QHG Shares Ltd, a joint venture used by Glencore and QIA to buy the 19.5 per cent stake, with financing of almost Rbs700bn (more than €10bn) in December, according to documents filed with regulators in Singapore. Russian business outlet RBC first reported the existence of the bridging loan. The previously undisclosed role played by VTB in the complex transaction raises questions about the involvement of the state in a deal that Moscow hailed as a sign of foreign appetite for Russian assets in spite of US and European sanctions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov sought to play down concerns that the partial privatisation deal, trumpeted by president Vladimir Putin as a vital stop-gap measure for Russia’s recession-hit budget, in effect involved state-run institutions passing money around. “This cannot be assessed as taking part in privatisation — it’s financing privatisation, but it has nothing to do with the privatisation itself,” he told reporters. Mr Peskov added that the deal was a “commercial issue” that was “unrelated to the Kremlin agenda”. Mr Putin said previously that Russian state-run banks should not bankroll such transactions. Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontiev told Interfax that the transaction was intended to avoid “all sorts of excesses” including “volatility on the currency market.” VTB declined to comment. Read more Glencore and Qatar take 19.5% stake in Rosneft Russian banks to help finance privatisation aimed at raising cash for state budget The disclosure resolves a mystery over how Mr Putin was able to declare in December that the proceeds from the deal had already been paid into Russia’s budget, even though the transaction was finally completed on January 3, according to a regulatory filing from Glencore. Early last month, Rosneft issued Rbs600bn ($10bn) in bonds. Russian banks’ repo balances with the central bank then surged from Rbs56bn to Rbs700bn, suggesting that they had bought the Rosneft bonds and used them as collateral for loans and financing, according to Alexey Bulgakov, a fixed-income analyst at Sberbank CIB. Ten days after the bonds were issued VTB lent Rbs692bn to QHG. A short time later VTB transferred the loan to Rosneftegaz, the holding company that owns the state’s stakes in Rosneft and gas monopoly Gazprom. Rosneftegaz then paid the proceeds into the state budget The loan was eventually repaid on January 3 when Intesa — the Italian bank initially announced as providing most of the financing for the deal — finally gave QHG a €5.2bn loan, according to the documents filed in Singapore. “It was almost unavoidable if you organise a deal in a short period of time to use a Russian bank for short-term funding, although formally it contradicts the spirit of privatisation and Putin’s own conditions,” said Ildar Davletshin, an oil and gas analyst at Renaissance Capital. Intesa Sanpaolo said it did not comment on the details of its client operations, but “we wish to reiterate that the financing was completed with strict adherence to the regulations applicable to embargoes. Italian authorities found nothing that would prohibit such an operation”. QIA did not respond to a request for comment. Glencore said: “This was an intermediate step as part of the process leading up to the closure of the transaction.” Questions still remain about how the deal, worth about €10.2bn overall, was eventually financed. According to a statement issued by parties to the deal, Glencore contributed €300m, Qatar €2.5bn respectively, with Intesa providing €5.2bn in loans. The balance of €2.2bn came from a consortium of as yet unnamed Russian banks. “You could say that Russian financing predominated here,” said Vladimir Milov, a former deputy energy minister.