Sechin sets sights on transforming Rosneft into state-controlled technology company

According to Q&A in the Wall Street Journal, summarised on its blog on 2 November 2012 http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2012/11/02/rosnefts-ignor-sechin-qa-transcript-with-wsj/, Rosneft President Igor Sechin perceives state-controlled Rosneft first and foremost as a technology company, rather than an oil & gas major, in finance, production, refining and marketing. He also says that he is not opposed to a reduction in the state’s majority interest in the company.

At the same time, he also discloses that Rosneft is creating a bank. This would appear to indicate that the company is building a similar structure to the state-controlled gas monopoly (for exports) Gazprom, which has its own banking business, including Gazprombank. There are no signs that the state would reduce its interest in Gazprom below 50 per cent. Logically, if Gazprom is the model for Rosneft’s further development, the same viewpoint holds true for Rosneft.

Sechin would appear to harbour such views, given that he calls on retaining the state’s interest in Rosneft for the foreseeable future, when asked about the government’s privatisation programme that stipulates the sale of the state’s 75.5 per cent interest in Rosneft by 2016: “As long as there is still some unrealised benefit from state ownership, we should keep it.”

 

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