June 12th, 2013

5% for Igor Sechin

TNK-BP Holding’s board recommended not paying dividends for 2012. Instead, Rosneft, controlling 95% of the TNK-BP stock, withdrew 10 billion dollars from the company in a form of loan. Minority investors of TNK-BP won’t receive anything for their shares.

“This is our money”, – commented Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin. “This is a criminal act”, – objects Vladimir Milov, the former Deputy Energy Minister. The similar transaction became one of the episodes in the YUKOS case.

The real face of Putin's regime

Russian corporations often ignore interests of minority shareholders and Russian courts don’t provide necessary protection of the shareholders rights. However this time is special. Russian energy tsar and one of the most influential persons in the country openly neglects the interests of financial investors. By cynically copying schemes from the Khodorkovsky’s case, Igor Sechin demonstrates that he is above the law and doesn’t anticipate any changes in the political system in the foreseeable future.

While Vladimir Putin declares improving the investment climate as the major task for the government, his comrade Igor Sechin can’t afford sharing the wealth with minority shareholders. His company urgently needs cash, since the acquisition of TNK-BP led to Rosneft’s almost unsustainable debt burden ratio. This is not the first time when Igor Sechin risks at taxpayers’ expense. His previous gamble of purchasing YUKOS assets was financed through a deal with China, and now Rosneft has to ship 300 million tons of oil eastwards with great discount to the market price. Moreover, Transneft, a state-controlled oil pipeline monopoly, has to invest 10 billion dollars in new pipelines to make this oil traffic possible. Effectively, all Russian oil companies will pay for eastward pipelines, though only Rosneft will benefit from the new construction. If the oil price drops, Russian taxpayers will have to bail out Rosneft with the government money, paying once again for Mr. Sechin’s risky decisions.

Bloomberg

Categories: Monopolies Tags: , ,
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