UN body set to block sales of INA shares by MOL

Deals

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) will soon prohibit the Croatian government and Hungarian oil and gas company MOL from selling their shares in Croatia's INA until the arbitration court takes a decision on the disputes between the stakeholders, according to reports in the Croatian press.

Croatian daily Jutarnji list said on Friday that it had learnt UNCITRAL would soon announce the temporary ban in the continuing dispute over Croatian oil company INA, which is jointly owned by MOL and the Croatian government. Commenting on the report, Croatian Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak told local public television that the dispute would remain in arbitration for at least two years.

Earlier this month, the Croatian government asked the arbitration court of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris to issue a temporary ban on MOL's shares of INA.

MOL currently holds 49.08% of INA's shares while the Croatian state owns 44.84%. A perceived lack of investment in the company by MOL and the state's failure to take over INA's loss-making gas business, as was reportedly stipulated in a shareholders agreement, have been sources of tension between MOL and Croatia's government.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has expressed its interest in acquiring a controlling stake in INA and buying MOL’s shares.

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