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Meeting of the Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investment

The following transactions have been approved: the acquisition by Indian ONGC Videsh Limited Company of 15 percent of the shares in Vankorneft; the acquisition by Swiss Molumin AG Company of 75 percent of the shares in Geotechnology.

Dmitry Medvedev’s opening remarks

Briefing by Igor Artemyev 

From Dmitry Medvedev’s opening remarks:

Meeting of the Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investment

Despite the sanctions and the difficulties of business transactions, we are determined to develop investment cooperation. Our economy remains open. Now that the political situation is effectively dictating its terms to foreign business, we are especially attentive and respectful with regard to the foreign companies that continue to work in our country or are coming to our country with investment. We are willing to provide a comfortable environment for them to incentivise them to implement large projects in Russia.

The Government should continue to pursue a very thorough approach when considering applications from foreign companies that are willing to invest in Russian strategic enterprises.

This economic interaction is beneficial for all parties. As a result, Russian companies get the essential financial resources, modern technology, newest managerial solutions and innovative products while our foreign colleagues strengthen their positions in the Russian market.

A case in point is our extensive ties with India in various areas – from the nuclear energy industry and telecommunications to cooperation in the defence and technology sector. Today we are considering an application from ONGC Videsh Limited, India’s second largest oil and gas company, for the acquisition of stock in Russia’s Vankorneft company, a crude oil and associated gas producer.

The Vankor oil and gas condensate deposit is the largest field discovered and put into operation over the past 25 years. If an affirmative decision is taken, the presence of Indian companies in our economy will expand and the portfolio on ONGC and Vankorneft oil assets in hydrocarbon exploration and production will grow. 

Briefing by Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Igor Artemyev following a meeting

Excerpts from the transcript:

Igor Artemyev: The commission stated that, since the start of 2016, we had received 11 lucrative applications for transactions involving control over Russia’s strategic assets. We have received applications from companies in Japan, the United States, Norway, and Cyprus. They are about buying service providers operating at Russian ports, pharmaceutical companies, and businesses engaged in the manufacturing of equipment for nuclear power plants, printing and subsurface use equipment.

Since January 1, we have seen an increase in the number of applications concerning Russia’s strategic assets filed by foreign investors from different countries.

The acquisition by the Indian state-owned ONGC oil company of a 15-percent interest in Vankorneft – Russia’s major subsurface user – is a major transaction that is strategically important for Russia. Vankorneft is a 100-percent subsidiary of Rosneft, and Vankor is the largest oil and gas field discovered in Russia in the past 25 years.

Plans are in place to produce about 500 million tonnes of oil and about 182 billion cubic metres of gas jointly by the Russian and Indian sides at this field alone.

The Indian side will pay about $1.3 billion for Vankorneft shares. Rosneft’s senior executives have recently signed a preliminary agreement with the Indian side for it to buy an additional stake in Vankorneft that covers other oil and gas fields operated by this company.

The commission was in favour of this transaction and, as the Government of India also approved it, the transaction will be executed in the near future.

The second transaction involves another Russia’s strategically important company – Geotechnology – which is based in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. This company owns licences covering several deposits that boast large quantities of nickel, copper and cobalt, and also gold, platinum and palladium. It is Russia’s second-largest nickel deposit, and is operated by Geotechnology. The Swiss Molumin AG intends to acquire 100 percent, respectively, of the company named AMP, which, in turn, owns and plans to sell 75 percent of Geotechnology. The commission approved this transaction as well.

Another 11 transactions from the same areas of business will be submitted for approval by the commission soon.

We are already working on about 15 such transactions. Even in quieter times, we used to receive fewer than 15 transactions per quarter. Investors who before stayed on the sidelines amid political and economic uncertainty began to take important decisions and to approach the commission in the first quarter of 2016. They are willing to invest their money in Russia’s strategic assets, which is a good sign.

Today, we reviewed a transaction worth billions of dollars. The Yamal deal is also worth billions of dollars. Additional Indian transactions are also measured in billions of dollars. They all concern developing entire regions and huge agglomerations. They’ll have an enormous multiplication effect. Over time, these deposits and transactions may become the flagships of the Russian economy.

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