FTSE 100 miner Glencore says it is selling almost all of its stake in majority state-owned Russian oil and gas company Rosneft, to a Chinese energy company, a mere nine months after it bought the holdings.
CEFC China Energy has signed a deal with the consortium of Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to purchase 14.16% stake of state-owned Russian oil firm Rosneft in a US$9.1 billion deal.
The London-listed commodity behemoth and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund jointly spent EUR10.20 billion to buy a 19.36% stake in Rosneft less than one year ago, in December 2016.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Russian state TV that the deal was prompted by the desire of both Glencore and QIA to reduce onerous debt repayments. Following the proposed sale announced Friday, Glencore would be left with a 0.5% stake in Rosneft while QIA will be left with a 4.7% interest. Intesa said its loan would be fully repaid with proceeds from the sale.
"It always looked as if the Qatar-Glencore deal was hastily arranged so as to allow the privatisation to take place by the end of past year and the proceeds booked to the federal budget", said Chris Weafer from Macro Advisory consultancy.
But this summer, the U.S. Congress passed tougher than ever sanctions against Moscow in the wake of allegations that Russian Federation had interfered in the presidential election, and Trump reluctantly signed them into law.
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