Added intrigue: why LUKOIL to buy stake in Rosneft

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For the company Vagit Alekperov buying makes sense only if concessions from the state on other issues

The news about the participation of LUKOIL in the privatization of “Rosneft” should be treated with caution — it is possible the usual stuffing in order to mislead the public, which was a lot lately. Especially strange to hear such messages after LUKOIL interested in is really the right asset — Bashneft — in the end refused to participate in buying it. For LUKOIL, the package is 19.5% of Rosneft shares — as a cow horse, he does not fit into the company’s development strategy, and besides, as we have seen in the current possession of even a large package of shares of “Rosneft” (19,75%) BP, does not give real control levers. And in General, “Rosneft” and LUKOIL strategic competitors, the tolerance of people Vagit Alekperov in their domestic Affairs Igor Sechin can not cause the explosion of the tension between the two pillars of the Russian economy. You may recall last year’s conflict over the Taimyr licenses, which cost armchairs to the head of Rosnedr.

Fashion step

If the offer is confirmed — especially the manner in which it was made (a personal request of Putin in the course of confidential conversation with Alekperov) — this will indicate one thing: the Russian authorities (and most likely Putin himself) made a conclusion that the transfer of all state assets in the pocket of “Rosneft” under the guise of “privatization” carries too large branding costs. Therefore, even at the cost of the appearance of a new headache, they decided to find a real buyer.

Probably, LUKOIL is not the only one who could “strongly ask” are among the media referred potential applicants are also referred to as “Surgutneftegaz” and the Kazakh “KazMunaiGas”, in relation to which Putin also has levers for informal influence and persistent requests, which are not able to refuse. But Chinese companies on the list have mentioned, most likely for effect — no real signs of their interest in buying shares in “Rosneft” did not appear, and in the summer the head of CNPC Wang Yilin, have made it clear that Chinese participation in the privatization of Rosneft will be interested only in the case of admission to the real management of the company, that is, participation in the development of this strategy, approval of transactions, etc.

It seems that the Russian President jarred a reaction to the fact that the sale of state assets in the end did not find buyers and “merge” state-owned companies. And he decided, using the usual tools, “manual”, third-party buyers to look.

Opportunities for bargaining

What could make LUKOIL, if the persistent request of Putin does not allow you to refuse? Likely to be the following: the Board of Directors of “Rosneft” will put a couple of people without much job, but in exchange for participation will try to negotiate the maximum possible concessions in other areas. For example, to access the shelf to bypass the exclusive rights are now in state-owned companies (LUKOIL have long requested). To obtain additional tax benefits for depleted and new fields. Ask to give Rosneft obtained in the “Bashneft” joint venture for development of the deposits of Trebs and Titov in Timan-Pechora. Return the list of requests to Putin can be impressive, and the situation opens up for such requests with a real opportunity.

What exactly LUKOIL is not interested — it’s the fact that the deal led to the escalation of a personal conflict with Sechin, who has said the rights of the company on the package. In case of purchase of the company Alekperov is likely to be careful and try to limit themselves to receive the listed benefits in other areas, and the package of “Rosneft” in the future to sell.

However, while it is not necessary to speak about the final decision. For “LUKOIL” this deal is very risky (not to mention its excessive cost), If Alekperov will be able to give up, then Putin will have to find another buyer — for example, “Surgutneftegas”. The fact that this company is still not bred to the forefront as a contender, says that its owners (whoever they may be) are in no hurry to print the accumulated “private stabilization Fund” in the form of cash totalling more than 2.6 trillion rubles. It is not excluded that this time print still have.

The authors ‘ point of view, articles which are published in the section “Opinions” may not coincide with ideas of editorial.

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