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Russia may sell 25% of Rosneft in secondary share sale

OAO Rosneft, Russia's state oil company, may sell as much as 25% of its shares, after raising $10.6 billion last year in the country's largest initial public offering.

„We think it's enough if the Russian Federation keeps a controlling stake,” said Valery Nazarov, head of Russia's Federal Property Management Agency. „When that actually happens depends on market conditions and a government decision,” Nazarov said in an interview posted on Interfax's Web site today and confirmed by his press office. Moscow-based Rosneft, the country's second-largest oil producer, sold 15% of its shares in its IPO in July. Nikolai Manvelov, a Rosneft spokesman, said he couldn't comment „on a statement made by a shareholder.” Peter O'Brien, head of financial strategy at Rosneft, said in an interview in September that the company doesn't plan to sell more shares. Later that month, Igor Shuvalov, an aide to President Vladimir Putin, told business newspaper Vedomosti that the state will sell its controlling stake within a decade. Bankrupt OAO Yukos Oil Co. owns 9.44% of Rosneft and the government owns slightly more than 75%. (Bloomberg)