Was Rosneft an arm of the Russian state in 2004?
For anyone looking at its shareholder list — or the background of Igor Sechin, chairman of the board of directors at the time — back then, it might hardly seem a taxing question. But it’s not the question the arbitration tribunal saw as important in Monday’s Yukos ruling.
This was whether Rosneft was specifically acting on behalf of the state when it played its part in the dismemberment of Yukos in 2004. (State responsibility in international law is a tricky subject.)
In an astonishing passage, the tribunal is sceptical that there is evidence of Rosneft acting in this way — until it notices the reflections of the man in the Kremlin from the time… Read more
Another excerpt from Monday’s ruling by an arbitration tribunal, awarding $50bn to be paid by Russia to Yukos ex-shareholders…
As part of the damages from Russia’s expropriation of Yukos’ assets — the tribunal also had to work out interest. This is an important part of any arbitration case looking at financial losses incurred years ago. Although actually, there is surprisingly little guidance on what rate to choose. And the rate used by the tribunal here is (excuse the pun) interesting. Read more
Here’s how the tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration worked out the figure, after finding in favour of former Yukos shareholders on Monday…
A US hedge fund manager has confirmed he is in talks to provide funding for the purchase of Yukos’ foreign assets won by a former unit of state-run oil group Rosneft in an auction last week, deepening the mystery surrounding one of Yukos’s most controversial bankruptcy sales. Richard Deitz, head of US hedge fund VR Capital, told the FT he was in talks to fund the winning bid for Yukos’s foreign assets, won by Promneftstroi for $305m in a final Yukos bankruptcy sale. The lot includes Yukos Finance BV, estimated to hold up to $2.5bn in assets.
Rosneft snapped up the last production unit belonging to Yukos for a steep discount in a bankruptcy auction on Thursday, sealing the state-run oil major’s takeover of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s former empire, once Russia’s biggest. Rosneft beat the only other bidder to pay $6.43bn for the Samaraneftegaz unit and three refineries in a 10-minute auction. The only remaining big Yukos asset left to go under the hammer is its imposing Moscow headquarters, set to be sold on Friday in a symbolic end to an oil major that was once the favourite of western investors. Read the FT’s analysis page for intriguing background on the Yukos saga.
Italy’s Eni and Enel won an auction on Wednesday for the second lot of assets belonging to the bankrupt Yukos oil group, including a key 20 per cent stake in Gazpromneft, the oil arm of state-controlled Gazprom, and gas producers ArcticGaz and Urengoil. But immediately after the results, Gazprom’s deputy chief Alexander Medvedev said the gas giant was interested in buying the stake in Gazpromneft and at least a 51 per cent stake in gas producers ArcticGaz and Urengoil.