Rosneft Expansion Thwarted by U.S. Veto on Morgan Stanley Deal

Reuters

MOSCOW, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The ambitions of Kremlin-controlled oil champion Rosneft to boost its global reach have been reined in by U.S. authorities, which torpedoed its acquisition of a Morgan Stanley oil trading business.

Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, a long-standing ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Monday that the deal was terminated because of the refusal by U.S. regulators to grant clearance.

"Having invested substantial efforts in the deal, the parties regret that it could not be completed," said Rosneft, in which BP holds a 20 percent stake.

Morgan Stanley also said that the deal was terminated and that it will now consider a variety of options.

The collapse of the deal, valued by sources at between $300 million and $400 million, is yet another blow for Rosneft after its partners, including ExxonMobil, withdrew from projects to develop Arctic offshore oil deposits following the introduction of Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

The Morgan Stanley deal was agreed in December 2013, when Sechin said that it would spearhead the company's growth in the international oil and products markets.

Since then, however, the West's sanctions and a plummeting oil price has prompted Rosneft to seek state support from Russia's National Wealth Fund (NWF).


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