Rosneft and VTB defy Medvedev over Bashneft privatisation

Bashneft privatisation:  Rosneft and VTB Bank appeared to have set themselves on a collision course  with the Kremlin last week  after the oil giant accepted the bank’s invitation to participate in the privatisation of regional oil producer Bashneft. The development comes only a few days after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev decided to bar Rosneft and other state-owned companies from participation in the sale.
Unnamed sources told Vedomosti over the weekend that Rosneft had informed VTB Bank, which is acting for the Russian government in the privatisation, that it wanted to be considered as a potential buyer. 
The Russian government is in the process of selling off several  state assets as it seeks to plug a budget deficit after the collapse of crude prices sapped revenue from its biggest export. The state owns 50.08% of Bashneft –  or 60.16% of ordinary voting shares –  worth around $3.8bn and says it plans to sell part or all of its stake this year.
The organisation that is now Bashneft  has been producing oil since 1932 from its fields in the Volga-Urals province, Timan-Pechora and Western Siberia. It currently has over 180  active fields producing over 19 million tonnes per year. Bashneft was created after the collapse of the Soviet empire by the  transfer of the oil related assets of the Soviet oil ministry in Bashkortostan to the regional government. It was privatised in 2002 and in 2009 the billionaire Vladimir  Yevtushenkov  bought a controlling interest through his AFK Sistema Group for  $2bn. The company was renationalised in 2014 after the Moscow Arbitration court ruled that the sale not been approved by the federal authorities and that every transaction in the shares since then had been illegitimate.
 Yevtushenkov spent three months under house arrest on money-laundering charges, but now still controls a fortune estimated at $9bn by Forbes through AFK Sistema which owns MTS, the largest cellular operator in Russia the Detsky Mir toy store and also has interests in the energy, engineering, agriculture and media industries. 

Source: Vedomosti