Sale of 19.5% of shares of Rosneft as a secret special operation

The purchase of 19.5% of shares of Rosneft by Glencore and Qatar Investment Authority still raises many questions among economists. It is being prepared in strange secrecy, they say. And last week, like a bolt from the blue, it was announced that the stock of the oil company had been already sold to Glencore and the QIA.   
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Observers again confuses decrease in sales price of 19.5% of the shares of Russian oil companies than the amount specified in the government directive in November of this year - instead of the planned 692 billion "Rosneftegas" shall transfer to the budget of 662.8 billion Today, the Prime Minister of Russia. Dmitry Medvedev explained the difference between the reduction in market prices.

"We can not dictate the price on a particular day. So when we made the first ruling of the government, were some parameters of the market, we have taken is the second ruling, the market has a little changed, - the head of government said. - This is the biggest deal in the oil and gas sector in 2016. This huge amount of money, so we took a new order in which the assessment was on December 6 ". According to the Prime Minister, the difference will be compensated by the budget at the expense of dividends "Rosneftegas", the volume of which has been deliberately increased.

Recall, a consortium of investors consisting of a sovereign fund of Qatar (Qatar Investment Authority, QIA) and Swiss trader Glencore and raw materials manufacturer of December 7 has signed an agreement to purchase 19.5% of "Rosneft" shares from the state holding "Rosneftegas". The buyer had to pay 692 billion rubles (10.2 billion euros). The transaction amount is calculated based on the closing price of trades on December 6 - 352.65 rubles per 1 share of "Rosneft" - before the government agreed a 5% discount. Thus, the price of 1 share in the transaction amounted to 335.02 rubles.

Dmitry Medvedev explained the advantage of Glencore and QIA was that they were prepared to ensure the rapid transfer of funds. Although in the course of preparation for sale discussed the possibility of selling the Japanese, European, Korean entities and some other Middle Eastern funds. The choice was for the most "Rosneft". "Prior to this transaction, the State owned 69.5% of the share capital of" Rosneft "- recalled the" age "of IFC Markets analyst Dmitry Lukashov. - As part of this package is implemented, and that all the funds are likely to be directed to the state budget. "Rosneft" will receive the new shareholders. Also, I do not exclude that the state can provide its guarantee for its loans in the event of such a necessity.

I believe that the privatization of state-owned part of a practical sense. The resulting revenue will help reduce the budget deficit. During the first 11 months of 2016 it amounted to about 1.8 trillion. rub. or 2.4% of GDP. From the sale of state-owned "Rosneft" can get about 670 billion. Rub. or a third of the required amount. This is a serious financial support. The remaining part is likely to be obtained through the issuance of government bonds. I do not think it makes sense to worry about the financial condition of Glencore. If it is accepted by the buyer, it means that the necessary resources it owns. In any event, transaction or it will be paid in accordance with the agreed conditions, or it will not happen. In my opinion, there is no specific risk. "

Nevertheless, the ruble value of the transaction for the week fell to 30 billion. Rubles, due to the strengthening of the ruble against the euro (the cost of the state's stake has been set in the European currency). According to RBC analysts of investment banks, foreign exchange loss may suffer "Rosneftegas", unless it is to hedge changes in the exchange rate. The ruble has risen in price after rising oil prices after OPEC agreement to reduce production, which joined the December 10 oil-producing countries outside the cartel, including Russia.

Money in euros for stake in "Rosneft" have been received to date. But the Russian government is thinking about the scheme converting them into rubles and promise to prevent sharp fluctuations in the currency market. "Look, the financial market of today will go a considerable amount of foreign exchange, and money must be received in the budget in rubles, rubles, so you need to develop a scheme which would not negatively impact on the market would not cause any jumps in the currency market ", - said Russian President Vladimir Putin, the head of" Rosneft "Igor Sechin at a meeting in the Kremlin on December 7th.

Economists this transaction continues to be a lot of questions. "As she was getting ready in the special operation mode distraction and in secrecy, and there are still many details are unknown, and the contradictory statements of the participants, - said the" age "of the expert-analyst of" Finam "Alexey Kalachev. - If we take into account only the official information sounded from the top, and take it at face value, the advantages from the sale of state-owned 19.5% of shares of "Rosneft" to a consortium of Glencore and Qatar Investment Authority for € 10.5 billion are obvious. Among them may be noted the completion of the state budget from privatization planned amount, as well as the fact that it will not be shifting from the pocket to the state funds, which many feared, but still a third-party money. This would mean the influx of new money into the economy from external sources, which, among other things, could be interpreted as tacit investment breakthrough of the blockade, which, in fact, the country finds itself.

However, it is known that the participants in the transaction, with its outer side is not for Russia new partners - and Glencore and loan deal Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has long worked with "Rosneft", a Qatari investment fund is not the first time invested in Russian assets - continues expert. - In addition, the transaction is seen voiced parts, it is too intricately structured so as not to arouse suspicion. "

It turns out, for example, that Glencore makes only € 300 million, and the remainder of its share credited the Italian bank, said Kalachev. «Qatar Investment Authority has yet to reveal details of their participation. A Intesa bank, is, at least half the credits the amount of the transaction and is clearly not alone, but whose complicity, on what terms, and under whose guarantee - is not clear, - the analyst said. - It is necessary to wait for the completion of the transaction. I think after all the documents are signed, and the entire amount will go to the budget (which is all that's about to happen one of these days), you will have enough information to assess its benefits and advantages. "

"I do the deal with" Rosneft "seems strange, - said the" Age of "lead analyst" Kalita Finance "Alex Viazovsky. - The amount and placement of bonds with the same (in the environment "Rosneft" placed on the market for 600 billion rubles bonds - Ed.). As if this were not nominal owners and paid for purchasing budget. We must wait until we will know more details. "

Secrecy and rapidity of the sale of "Rosneft" securities package actually leads to some suspicion. Especially if you build a chain: the arrest of Vladimir Yevtushenko - sale of "Bashneft", "Rosneft" - the arrest of the head of Ministry of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev, who is rumored to have threatened to block for Igor Sechin deal with "Bashneft" - finally, the sale of state-owned "Rosneft" in private hands, and buyers, again, found immediately after placement.

"Both of these respected organizations in the world market (Glencore and QIA -. Ed) have in common is that they are opaque - wrote in his blog journalist Yulia Latynina. - Simply put, they are - in a legally completely flawless schemes and, of course, in full compliance with the financial politeness - can act Frontera in exchange for certain services, for example, in exchange for a contract for the supply of oil. Kremlin somehow in a hurry to sell "Bashneft", "Rosneft", and then to sell 19.5% of "Rosneft" in private hands. Exactly one day before announcement of the sale of "Rosneft" took the 600 billion rubles. What size of loan for the Russian market is huge and that the loan was held by private subscription was placed in half an hour. And 300 million dollars plus 600 billion rubles exactly correspond roughly to the sum to be paid for the 19.5% of "Rosneft" shares. So the question is simple: who is really in front of sell 19.5% of "Rosneft" shares immediately after the "Rosneft" has placed on the market loan of 600 billion rubles? ".