György Soros says IPO of Russia's OAO Rosneft shouldn't proceed
Wednesday, July 5, 2006, 09:42
Billionaire investor György Soros said OAO Rosneft, Russia's state oil company, shouldn't be allowed to trade publicly because of the country's potential to monopolize global energy supplies. The 75-year-old former financier who turned his attention to political and charitable activities also said the European Union member states must have a more cohesive energy policy to negotiate with Russia. He spoke 3 July at a London School of Economics public forum. Russia, with 143 million people, is the world's second-biggest energy producer after Saudi Arabia. The government built Rosneft into the country's third-biggest oil company using assets seized in 2004 from OAO Yukos Oil Co. That company was led by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, jailed of fraud and tax evasion. The company said in June it plans to raise as much as $11.6 billion in an initial public offering. “It's an issue that should not be allowed to proceed, but I think it will,” Soros said. He also said “Russia is acting as a monopoly supplier, and it is essential for Europe to have a coordinated energy policy to be able to stand up as equal partners in negotiating with Russia.” Soros, who founded New York-based Soros Fund Management LLC, declined to discuss the currency and equity markets.