Russia signs Rosneft deal with Qatar, Glencore

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state holding company Rosneftegaz on Saturday signed a deal with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and commodities trader Glencore GLEN.L to sell a 19.5 percent stake in state-owned oil major Rosneft ROSN.MM, Rosneft said.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia December 7, 2016. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

The privatization deal, which Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin called the largest in Russia’s history, was announced by Rosneft in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Its success suggests the lure of taking a share in one of the world’s biggest oil companies outweighs the risks associated with Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Rosneft had been under pressure to secure a sale of the 19.5 percent stake to help replenish state coffers, hit by an economic slowdown driven by weak oil prices and exacerbated by sanctions.

Rosneft said in a statement the budget would receive 710.8 billion rubles ($11.37 billion) from the sale, including 18.4 billion rubles in additional dividends from Rosneftegaz.

It said the additional dividends were due to a change in its dividend policy, according to which it will pay at least 35 percent of net profit according to international accounting standards in payouts twice a year.

Rosneft confirmed that Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo ISP.MI was a major creditor for the deal and said it would be closed by the middle of December.

A Rosneft source said Intesa and a syndicate of four or five key banks would provide 7 billion euros of financing.

The Italian lender will provide “significantly over 50 percent” of the financing, while Glencore will hedge the bulk of its stake in Rosneft, the source added.

Sechin called QIA and Glencore “strategic investors” and said he was confident their work together would lead to synergies for Rosneft.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Alexander Winning and Jack Stubbs; Editing by David Evans and Dale Hudson