China’s chemicals group ChemChina has offered more than $43bn to take over Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta. The Swiss company said it was ‘unanimously recommending the offer to shareholders’ and that the deal would help it further expand in China.
“The transaction (more…)
Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the TV airways yesterday to celebrate the news that the commodity trader Glencore and Qatar’s QIA sovereign wealth fund – Glencore’s largest shareholders – had agreed to buy Moscow’s 19.5% stake in the state-run Rosneft oil giant for a figure Putin put at $11bn, boosted by what he described as “the rising trend in oil prices.”
The transaction was so big that Putin specifically asked Sechin to work with the Finance Ministry and central bank to ensure that it did not destabilize the currency market when the proceeds were converted into roubles. The rouble gained against the dollar in late trading after the deal was announced. and shares in Rosneft jumped by 6.4% on the news.
Putin haled the surprise deal as the “largest acquisitions in the oil and gas sector in the world in 2016.” It is certainly the biggest foreign investment in Russia since the crisis in Ukraine and comes little more than a year after Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg had to go cap in hand to his shareholders for a cash injection. Qatar’s involvement also marks a rare venture of an OPEC member into the Russian energy sector.
Putin was joined on air by his long-term ally and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin who thanked the President for his part in brokering the deal which, he said, only “became possible thanks to your personal contribution,…..the negotiated price is in our view the maximum possible with the minimum discount of 5% to market prices.” Financing will be provided by “one of the largest European banks,” he added, without specifying which one.
The deal comes at the end of an eventful few weeks for Russia’s privatisation programme which has seen Economy Minister Alexey Ulyukaev dismissed and put under house arrest, accused of taking a bribe to end his objections to Rosneft taking part in the privatisation of Bashneft; and Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev announcing that hundreds of SMEs were likely to put up for sale next year as Moscow scrambles to raise cash to fill its $21bn budget deficit.
The new deal will go a long way to reducing that debt, but with Rosneft and Sechin himself subject to the sanctions imposed by the West after the annexation of Ukraine, Glencore announced that it would be “fully ring-fenced” from exposure to the Russian state company, apart from a 0.54% “indirect equity interest.”
Russia will retain a controlling stake in Rosneft after the deal, while BP owns a further 19.75% stake in the company.
The Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second-largest shipping line, has returned to Iran more than six years after one of its container ships last docked in one of the country’s ports, the Director-General of Hormozgan Province’s Ports and Maritime Organization Ebrahim Eidani announced this week. The 9,400 TEU capacity (more…)theiranproject Read More»
The Edipresse Group, Swiss-based publishers of over 40 Russian women’s interest and DIY consumer titles and 12 websites, has sold Edipresse-Konliga and quit Russia because of the new legislative restrictions on foreign media ownership, according to a report on its website.
As from 2016, foreign publishers are prohibited from owning more than 20% in Russian media concerns and, (more…)
FIFA arrests: Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Wednesday’s swoop on top FIFA officials in Zurich by the FBI as a “crude breach in the principles in the functioning of international organisations.”
“I don’t doubt a bit that this is a clear attempt to not allow the reelection of Mr. Blatter to the post of FIFA president, and this is a crude breach in the principles in the functioning of international organisations. Unfortunately, our American partners are using such methods to reach their own selfish goals and are doing it illegally, persecuting people,” he told journalists in Moscow.
“We know the pressure that was put on him to prevent the 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia,” he added, likening the events to the hounding of whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.
In a meeting with Putin in Sochi earlier last month, FIFA chief Sepp Blatter had slammed Russia’s critics. “I see that more and more people around the world are taking an interest in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. If politicians are not too happy that we are taking the world cup to Russia, I always say to them, ‘Well, you can stay home, and in Russia we will hold the biggest world cup ever yet’,” Blatter said at the time.