October 13, 2017 / 5:53 PM / a year ago

VTB says ready to help finance CEFC's purchase of Rosneft stake

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian lender VTB is ready to help finance CEFC China Energy’s acquisition of a stake in Russian oil major Rosneft, the bank’s chief executive, Andrei Kostin, said on Friday.

The logo of Russian bank VTB is seen on a board at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017 (SPIEF 2017) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 1, 2017. Picture taken June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Asked about providing finance for the deal, Kostin told Rossyia 24 TV station the deal did not depend on VTB’s help, “but we are ready to do it, if there is interest in that. It’s a fairly interesting deal.”

He said he did not want to provide any more details.

CEFC last month said it would buy a 14.16 percent stake in Rosneft from a consortium of Glencore (GLEN.L) and the Qatar Investment Authority.

The deal, which strengthens energy ties between Moscow and Beijing, is worth $9.1 billion.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter, that CEFC is set to raise $5.1 billion in short-term loans from VTB to part-finance the acquisition of the Rosneft stake.

Kostin also said VTB, Russia’s second-biggest lender, would have to write off 7 billion roubles ($122 million) as a result of the bailout of Russia’s Otkritie Bank. VTB holds a 9.9 percent stake in Otkritie holding company.

He said it was premature to talk about VTB becoming a shareholder in Otkritie Bank once it has been rescued.

(This version of the story corrects to show VTB has a 9.9 pct share in wider Otkritie holding company, not in Otkritie Bank)

Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Jane Merriman

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