Today, PM Putin and the rest of the Governmental Commission on Foreign Investment in Strategic Sectors met for the second time this year, the first being in February. According to a press release from the government, the Commission considered six applications from foreign investors to purchase shares in Russian companies from one of 42 “strategic” sectors. Below are a list of the deals that were approved which, as always, I will update as information becomes available:
- Tatneft Oil AG acquired additional shares in Bank Zenit. Tatneft AG is a “Swiss” corporation but, as the name suggests, Tatneft Oil is the oil company headquartered in Tatarstan (Russia’s sixth-largest oil company). Tatneft AG currently owns 24.56% of Zenit through Tatneft Oil, and owns 48.8% of the International Petrochemical Growth Fund, which in turn owns 41.92% of Zenit “through a series of structures.” Another large shareholder of Zenit is Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Lisin, with 14.42%.
- KazakhGold became the parent company of Polyus Gold (Polyus Zoloto). Polyus Gold owns 50.1% of KazakhGold. At the end of last year, it was reported that there might be a deal whereby KazakhGold becomes the “parent” of Polyus in order to “increase the liquidty of shares in Polyus Zoloto.” The main owners of Polyus are Mikhail Prokhorov (29.9%) and Suleiman Kerimov (36.9%).
- Gunvor acquires 30% in OOO “PetroResurs.” Yet another deal approved for Putin pal Gennady Timchenko. This time Timchenko’s “Dutch” Gunvor International B.V. purchased 30% of PetroResurs, which owns the license to the Lagansky block on the Caspian shelf. Ironically, Gunvor purchased the 30% stake from Swedish Lundin Petroleum, arguably making this a net loss in real FDI for Russia.
- Sanofi-Aventis purchase of Bioton vostok factory in Orlovskaya Oblast. Well I’ll be damned! A real foreign investment! This might explain why Putin discussed Aventis’ investment during his prepared remarks as opposed to, say, his buddy Timchenko’s acquisition of PetroResurs. Sanofi-Aventis is a French pharmaceutical group and Europe’s largest manufacturer of medicines. The factory will make insulin pens which will be useful to Russia’s increasingly diabetic population. As a result of the deal, Sanofi-Aventis will own 74% of the factory. Any guesses as to whether this deal was negotiated between Putvedev and Sarkozy? It is the year of France in Russia, after all.
As always, we dedicate a little space for the comments of Vladimir Vladimirovich: