Transneft and Sberbank finally reconciled

The court stopped production of a high-profile dispute by 66.5 billion rubles.
The Moscow District Court of Cassation accepted the refusal of Transneft to file a complaint with Sberbank regarding the payment of 66.5 billion rubles. on currency options. This means that the dispute between the companies is over. In this case, the decision of the appellate court, which recognized the options as legal, and the bank in good faith, will remain in force.

Today, a session of the cassation court on the dispute between Transneft and Sberbank concerning the legality of currency options was held, as a result of which the company paid the bank 66.5 billion rubles. A representative of Transneft said that on December 29, the company filed a petition to refuse a cassation appeal. "We support him," he said, adding that this was done "in connection with reaching agreements on resolving the dispute out of court", as well as "taking into account the interests of both sides." In this connection, according to him, the company asks to stop the production of the complaint. The judge asked if the plaintiff knew the consequences of such a refusal. The representative of the company answered in the affirmative. The court asked the opinion of the bank, whose representative did not object to the satisfaction of the petition.

Having conferred for several minutes, the court decided to accept the refusal of "Transneft" and stop the proceedings on the complaint. It should be noted that at the cassation stage according to the rules of the agrarian and industrial complex of the Russian Federation, it is impossible to refuse the claim, therefore the company withdrew its cassation appeal to stop the trial. But unlike the situation with the refusal of the claim, the withdrawal of the complaint does not cancel the last court decision rendered in the dispute. This means that the ruling of the appellate court, which recognized the options as legitimate, and the bank as a bona fide party, will remain in force.

"Transneft" in January last year challenged the deal with currency options (put and call), concluded by the company with Sberbank in 2013. The amount of transactions was $ 2 billion, the date of execution was set for September 2015. Initially, the barrier on the call option was set at 45 rubles. for the dollar, and in September 2014 increased to 50 rubles. But because of the devaluation of the ruble on September 18, 2015, the dollar rate has already reached 66 rubles, and Transneft had to pay the bank more than 66 billion rubles.

In the suit, the company referred to the fact that it is not a qualified investor, the deal was speculative, and Sberbank behaved badly without disclosing to it all the necessary information, including the possible growth of the dollar. The bank insisted that Transneft had already concluded deals with currency options before, had received all the information about risks from it, realized it and for a long time recognized the legality of transactions, having decided to challenge them only a year and a half after the payments were made.

The Moscow Arbitration Court in June 2017 satisfied the claim, recognizing the transactions as insignificant and obliging the bank to return the company 66.5 billion rubles. But in August 2017, the appeal overturned this decision, considering the transactions legal.

On November 30, 2017, at the cassation court, the parties announced a joint petition to postpone the hearing to negotiate the settlement of the dispute. The court agreed to postpone the meeting on 9 January. But on December 28, the parties publicly announced the settlement of the dispute, and on December 29, a petition filed by Transneft on the refusal of the cassation appeal was registered in the file of arbitration cases.