April 8, 2010 / 10:52 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Rosneft says UK court cancels YUKOS injunction

* Concerns 425 mln GBP freezing order by UK court

* Rosneft says has provided $650 mln security

(Adds Rosneft comments, details, background)

By Anton Doroshev

MOSCOW, April 8 (Reuters) - Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft (ROSN.MM) said on Thursday a UK court had lifted a freeze on its assets after it took steps to settle a dispute with the managers of defunct rival YUKOS.

The managers won injunctions in the United States and Britain earlier this year in a move that industry sources said could jeopardise Rosneft’s exports, representing one fifth of overall deliveries from Russia, the world’s top oil producer. [ID:nLDE62F22Z]

Rosneft said last month that the U.S. case had been partly overturned, promised to challenge the London ruling and pledged that its supplies would not be affected.

“There is an order to cancel the freeze due to an agreement between the (two) sides. The freeze has been lifted. We have presented guarantees which suited the (UK) high court,” Rosneft’s spokesman Nikolai Manvelov told Reuters.

Shares in Rosneft turned positive after the comments, to trade up 0.9 percent in Moscow by 0900 GMT, outperforming a 0.7 percent fall on the MICEX .MCX index.

Managers of YUKOS, the former oil giant dissolved by the Kremlin, had won injunctions in New York and London to freeze assets in relation to a $400 million award by a Dutch court to YUKOS’s unit YUKOS Capital last year in a suit concerning debts between YUKOS subsidiaries. [ID:nLDE62H0XW]

Earlier on Thursday, YUKOS Capital said in a statement that Rosneft “provided a mutually agreed security, in order to discharge a 425 million pounds ($644 million) freezing order of the English High Court obtained by YUKOS Capital ... in March relating to unpaid Rosneft debt obligations.”

Rosneft said it had presented a different form of collateral to the court in the YUKOS managers’ case, in order to free up its assets worth $650 million.

Russia bankrupted YUKOS in 2007 after hounding the company for massive back-tax claims. Rosneft then acquired the bulk of the company’s assets sold at auction.

YUKOS managers have pledged to sue Russia all over the world for expropriating the company’s assets. ($1=.6595 Pound) (Writing by Toni Vorobyova; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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