Russia’s Oil Giant Rosneft Finds Unexpected Investors

PHOTO by Alexey Filippov / RIA Novosti
Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a 19.5% stake in Rosneft for €10.2 billion

The consortium of the Swiss commodity trader Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a 19.5% stake in Rosneft for €10.2 billion ($11 billion) as part of the privatisation initiative, according to Glencore's statement.

Analysts say that this is an unexpected development, although they noted that both entities have already made investments in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that this is the largest oil and gas deal of 2016, which was closed under the conditions of increasing oil prices. “The Russian government retains the controlling stake of the company – over 50%. Overall, this is a very good result,” Putin concluded. The President also emphasised that the deal should not have any effect on the exchange market due to currency conversion.

Analysts interviewed by RNS agree that Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund were unexpected investors.

“Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund are quite unexpected buyers. I anticipated it to be Chinese companies, perhaps Indian or even Japanese. Maybe even European producers – it would have complicated the deal, but it would have been more logical,” said Head of the Analytics Department of Zerich Capial Managment Nikolai Podlevskih.

Glencore representatives said that the five-year agreement with Rosneft will add 220,000 oil barrels a day to the trader’s portfolio.

Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund already have investments in Russia. For instance, Glencore has a 25% stake of the Russneft oil company (owned by Mikhail Gutseriev), an 8.75% stake in Rusal and shares in the Rostov and Taman grain terminals.