CBS MarketWatch: Russia-owned Rosneft buys Yukos: Winning bidder's acquisition called 'a blow for rule of law': “Wednesday's purchase by Russian state-owned gas company Rosneft of BaikalFinans Group, the mysterious entity which unexpectedly won the auction for Yukos' production unit, was "coordinated by the Kremlin," according to a Russia expert.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 23 Dec 04
By Leslie Wines,
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Wednesday's purchase by Russian state-owned gas company Rosneft of BaikalFinans Group, the mysterious entity which unexpectedly won the auction for Yukos' production unit, was "coordinated by the Kremlin," according to a Russia expert.
Ian Bremmer, of New York-based political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, also charged that the Rosneft deal represents "a blow for the rule of law and corporate governance" in Russia's energy sector.
The deal for holding company BaikalFinans was reported by the Dow Jones News Service, which said financial terms were not immediately available.
The emergence of BaikalFinans as the winning bidder for Yuganskneftegaz, the Yukos production unit, prompted industry watchers to suspect the Russian state was coordinating a takeover of Yukos.
Bremmer said Moscow's hand in the matter is evidenced by cryptic remarks about the auction process made by Russian President Vladimir Putin over the last few days, as well as by the relatively low bid of $9.3 billion submitted by BaikalFinans for Yuganskneftegaz, which produces more oil than Indonesia.
He also said that he believes Russia currently contains both risk and potential for international investors.
The Russian government, while eager to control the energy sector, is less invasive in other sectors, according to Bremmer.
"Many countries in the world are black and white in terms of investment," he said. "But Russia is one of the grayest countries in the world."