MOSCOW, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Russian oil company Rosneft said on Wednesday it had sold its stake in Italian refiner Saras for 175 million euros ($186.88 million) and that it had sold in part because sanctions prevented it from taking a controlling stake in the refiner.
"The sale is part of a programme of optimising the company's portfolio of assets linked, in part, with the fact that it is impossible to implement the original agreement on increasing Rosneft's share to a controlling share, given the sanction restrictions in force," Rosneft said in a statement.
"The money received from the sale of the share will be used to implement strategic projects with other Italian partners of Rosneft," the statement said.
Rosneft said it sold its 12 percent stake in Saras for 1.53 euros per share via an accelerated book-building.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alexander Winning)
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