Russia's Novatek completes deal to sell Yamal LNG stake to China's Silk Road

MOSCOW, March 15 (Reuters) - Russia’s No.2 natural gas producer Novatek said on Tuesday it has completed a deal to sell a 9.9 percent stake in the Yamal LNG project to China’s Silk Road Fund for 1.09 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

After the deal, Novatek will hold 50.1 percent in Yamal LNG, which is due to start producing liquefied natural gas in 2017. France’s Total, China’s CNPC will retain 20 percent each.

The $27 billion project has been struggling to raise funds due to international sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

The Fund has already provided a loan worth 730 million euros ($804 million) for financing of the project as part of the transaction.

$1 = 0.8994 euros Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jack Stubbs