A couple of years ago, business media in the Russian Federation expressed enthusiasm over the sale of "serious foreign investors" 19.5% stake in the country's largest oil company - Rosneft. Then it was presented as a breakthrough of the "sanctions blockade", an unprecedented success of the government and personally the president of the Russian Federation. In December 2016, the consortium of buyers is the Qatar Investment Authority Qatar Investment Authority and the Swiss trader Glencore (which has its history from the Anglo-Soviet-Swiss structure that sold Soviet raw materials since the 1980s) - agreed to pay 10 for this package, 2 billion euros (692.4 billion rubles). The British shouted at the whole world about the new, unprecedented triumph of "Vlad Putin":
Sale of 19.5% of Rosneft to foreign investors Financial Times calls the surprise and triumph of President Vladimir Putin. The FT notes that this is the largest transaction in the privatization program that the Russian government planned at the beginning of the year for the sake of replenishing the budget. The newspaper also notes that this is one of the largest investments of foreign investors in Russia, which is carried out in spite of EU and US sanctions, which were thought to scare Western companies from participating in this privatization deal, although they do not directly prohibit it.
Bloomberg comments on the deal in almost the same terms. The agency also talks about the triumph for President Putin, "who himself announced the deal on air", that the announcement was a surprise and that the deal took place against the EU sanctions.
Forbes writes about the largest "privatization" in the last few years. The publication also quotes Sechin as saying that Chinese and Kazakhstani investors were considered the most likely buyers of the shares, but Glencore and Qatar Investment Authority suddenly appeared "out of nowhere" and interrupted their offer.
Indeed, success is evident, "do not tell our chandenders," but why were not the Chinese investors coveted by these shares?
Immediately after the transaction, the number of questions has grown even more. For example, it turned out that the block of shares was sold below the price stipulated by the government directive: 10.5 billion euros or 710.8 billion rubles. Then, the "large foreign investors" who decided to invest in Rosneft, which only in 2016-2021 should return on loans of 48 billion dollars, was not enough money. Well, it happens. A decent investor comes, beat patriotic drums and thunder kettle-drums, and in the pocket of the guest - an airy emptiness. Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore podnapryaglis and reported that their funds for two they neatly 2.8 billion euros (300 million from the shizzards and 2.5 billion from the indecently rich Qatarians). And more, sorry, no.
Therefore, the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo (close to the Vatican) was named an accomplice in the deal, ready to allocate 5.2 billion euros for a breakthrough in the "sanction blockade" of Putin's Russia. But another 2.2 billion euro was missing to close the deal. Where do you get them? About this a couple of paragraphs below.
Strangeness was added by the fact that the Russian budget received 692.4 billion rubles before the purchase was formally completed. To bother the analysts and experts about the "breakthrough deal" did not make much sense. It turned out that the state bank VTB paid unprecedented triumph (61% of shares belong to the Russian Federation), which in December 2016 gave an urgent bridge loan to a consortium of "solid investors":
The editions of RBC and Vedomosti reported on Monday, January 16, that a loan for this amount - 692 billion rubles - the state bank VTB on December 15 granted the Singapore company QHG Shares Pte. Ltd.
Do you know why VTB gave a loan to "serious investors"? Because the government and Rosneftegaz (a direct seller of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft) chose the Qatarians and the Swiss for ... speed:
Glencore and Qatar were chosen by buyers because they were ready to "quickly pay", "quickly provide the necessary amount of liquidity," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday in an interview with five television channels.
Watch hands: buyers chose a pool of respected foreign investors who could quickly pay money, but who could not attract them quickly, and to close the deal, VTB State Bank gave them a loan. This or some kind of schizophrenia or an obvious schematosis.
The bridge loan of VTB "investors" as it were returned. Only in addition to the Qatar fund, a Swiss trader with a troubled history and an Italian bank, Russian Gazprombank and a subsidiary of Rosneft-VBRR, which apparently closed the 2.2-billion-euro-hole in the structure of the deal, suddenly appeared among them. In January 2017, Russian business media gave the first information about this:
Vedomosti sources said that Gazprombank and a subsidiary of Rosneft, RRDB, could help with lending.
By the spring of 2017 it turned out that, apparently, there was no foreign investment at all, and the deal itself was a transfer from relatively empty to relatively empty with the inevitable shrinkage of real "interest for interest and anxiety":
We quite clearly imagine where this money came from, it is not very clear where they went. This means Rosneft. Rosneft issued bonds worth $ 9 billion, which are recognized by the Central Bank of Russia. The purchase of Rosneft shares was financed mainly through these funds. It is known that the company Glencore participated in the transaction three hundred million euros, which were provided with contracts for the supply of oil. That is, in reality, I suspect she did not allocate any money. The sovereign fund of Qatar formally provided 2 and a half billion euros. Most likely, this is also not real money. Some of them, apparently, are Rosneft's money, which, roughly speaking, was laundered through the structures of several Russian banks, including Gazprombank and Vneshtorgbank, and received by the Italian Intesa Sanpaolo.
For the idiocy to be obvious to everyone, the deal was stylized as a "special operation" adored in northern Eurasia. In April 2017, "Putin" held a ceremony to reward participants in the "purchase" of Rosneft shares. Victory? But in the autumn of 2017 the second act of comedy and paper of Rosneft came on:
Qatar QIA and Swiss trader Glencore were only temporary holders of 19.5% of Rosneft shares, privatized at the end of last year. Now the consortium has sold most of the package - 14.2% stake - to the Chinese CEFC for 9.1 billion dollars (about 8.6 billion euros). After closing the deal, Glencore will have a 0.5% stake in Rosneft, with QIA 4.7%, which corresponds to their direct December investment in these securities - 300 million and 2.5 billion euros, respectively. The bulk of the privatized package was then bought from the state-owned Rosneftegaz for loans. Now QIA and Glencore will be able to pay off the funds received from CEFC with the main lender of the transaction by Intesa Bank (allocated € 5.2 billion), which, according to Reuters, faced problems of syndication of the loan.
Is the "Putin's plan - the victory of Russia" realized and northern Eurasia still awaited the arrival of "serious foreign investors"? Unfortunately no. For the shareholding, CEFC pledged to pay Qatarians and Swiss in cash 3,9 billion euros, and in the form of an equivalent of another 4,576 billion euros. But pay for the Chinese investors will be ... right, Russian state-owned banks. More precisely, all the same VTB. So what? After all, the Chinese private company CEFC with a turnover of 45 billion dollars a year does not have such money. As well as there is no desire from those who are bathing in money of the Chinese banks to finance purchase of the shares entangled by impressive debts and small sanctions of "Rosneft". So again sketches on the march:
VTB signed an agreement with the Chinese CEFC for a loan of € 5 billion to buy a 14.16% stake in Rosneft. This was reported by the head of VTB Andrei Kostin on Wednesday in the lobby of the forum in Davos. "We have signed all agreements, a credit line has been opened, which the company can use at any time," he said. "They paid all commissions, legally binding commissions from both sides already exist." The pledge for this transaction will be 14.16% stake in Rosneft, said on Wednesday the first deputy chairman of the board of VTB Yury Soloviev.
With the sin in half, Russian managers managed to find a Chinese investor for Rosneft for a year or more. Money, however, he does not pay, but under the transaction you can get the loot from the state bank VTB and popolzovatsya it. What will happen next? Apparently, after a while CEFC will eat the "interest" due to it from the transaction (including dividends) and return not the most liquid, say softly, securities of the Sechin corporation to VTB Bank. Or he will sell it to someone else with the participation of all the same Russian state banks. By that time, the story of the stormy triumph of Putin's "privatization victory" will be completely forgotten, and VTB will compensate for its losses by tranches from the Central Bank of Russia or from the state budget.
There will be no favors and "partners". The Swiss and Qatar "pads" will remain with small blocks of shares and unbearable commissions. Like the Italian Intesa Sanpaolo, which the US fined $ 235 million in 2016 for circumvention of sanctions against Iran, by the way.
After all, good people always need help.