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BUSINESS: Mystery Company Wins YUKOS Asset Auction

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posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 01:28 AM
In a strange and fishy development of the tax-evasion fiasco which has lead to the breakup of Russian oil giant YUKOS, a completely unheard of company has emerged to bid 9.4 billion dollars US for ownership of YUKOS assets.
Baikal Finance Group was not one of the 3 registered bidders, but was the only one not named by an American bankruptcy court order which barred other bidders from taking control of YUKOS assets. It is suspected that Baikal is a false company which will intentionally default on its payment of the 9.4 billion dollars. If this happened, Russian law allows the government to directly sieze YUKOS assets.
YUKOS is widely seen by analysts as the victim of a Kremlin campaign to crush its politically ambitious owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and seize control of strategic sectors of the economy sold off in the chaotic privatizations of the 1990s

Baikal, which was not one of three originally registered bidders including Gazprom, may have been a hastily assembled vehicle allowing Russian state interests to get around the U.S. court order, one analyst said.

There were three registered bidders and all three were named in the restraining order. Now the surprise is that a new entity emerges. The Russian state was not named in the restraining order nor was this entity," he added. Russian news agency Itar-Tass said one of its reporters had checked the address given by Baikal in the town of Tver, 125 miles outside Moscow, and had found a building housing a mobile phone shop and a food store.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is absolutely hillarious. A company that doesn't even exist and is supposedly based out of a cellphone store comes out of nowhere to bid 9.4 billion for YUKOS. Clearly this is a Russian government ploy to socialize the oil giant, and although it flies in the face of all law and ethics, I can't see how anyone could do anything about it.

[edit on 12-20-2004 by Zion Mainframe]

posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 05:22 AM
So what? If the goverment want's to buy it and has the money then what is the problem here?

posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 05:44 AM
It is beginning to appear there is a takeover play being made by several countries.

Russia, the US, China, all have extreme interest in control of what is appearing as a severely under-valued company going at fire sale prices.

All the while reports and reserve estimates are being revised upwardly for Russia, and it is almost expected to 'double or triple' relative to current reserve estimates.

Who is going to end up with the sweetest cherry pie to ever roll out of Russia?

posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 05:59 AM

It's really starting to look like it will end up in the Russian government's hands. Gazprom is the government-controlled natural gas monopoly in Russia. Russia, in its entirety constitutes the largest natural gas reserves on the planet.

Russia has the 7th largest oil reserves in the world, and second largest non-mideastern oil reserve - with twice as much estimated reserve as that of the U.S. As far as non-mideastern countries, Venezuela is the only one that trumps it. With Venezuela in the chaotic state its in, it would be a major coup in the industry for the Russian government to establish a monopoly on its oil industry.

posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 08:24 AM
Here's a little more evidence that the Russian government is most likely behind Baikal.

Yuganskneftegaz may be assigned to government

The Justice Ministry of Russia does not rule out the possibility that in the event the auction for Yuganskneftegaz is declared void, the shares in that company will be assigned to the government, Alexander Buksman, chief of the Justice Ministry’s Moscow Department, declared at a news conference today. “An asset that has not been sold can be assigned to the claimant, i.e. the government,” he said.

YUKOS has been seeking U.S. bankruptcy protection.

The bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. in Houston. But on 12/16/04 the Oil & Gas International (an online E&P news source) had the following article (which takes a paid subscription to access)...line read:

"(12/16/2004) Gazprom files for dismissal of Yukos bankruptcy case (update)"

On 12/15 O&G International had this headline (see in list of articles in link above)

"(12/15/2004) Yukos files for bankruptcy & restraining order against Kremlin"

This was apparently in response to the following:

"(12/9/2004) Gazprom gets loan to bid for Yukos production unit (analysis)"

Gazprom announced its intentions to bid for YUKOS on November 30:

"(11/30/2004) Gazprom to bid for Yuganskneftegaz"

Please note that Gazprom (government-owned gas company) and Rosneft (government-owned oil company) is merging:

"(11/11/2004) Gazprom-Rosneft merger appraisal ordered"

On December 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin removed Rosneft from the list of Russia’s strategic assets, replacing it with the new, unified Rosneftegaz. He backed government proposals to transfer 100 percent of Rosneft shares, controlled by the government, to the authorized capital of Rosneftegaz as the government’s contribution to the new company. Gazprom shares involved in the deal will be transferred to the balance sheet of the company Gazpromneft. After that, Rosneftegaz and Gazpromneft will swap their assets and Gazprom’s treasury shares will become state property.

Now, the Russian government announced in May that it was going to "increase its shares in the gas giant Gazprom"...

But stated that the plan to "liberate Gazprom shares would still take place" this year. Up until now there has been a Russian-government restriction to the amount of Gazprom shares that can be owned by anyone other that the government - 20% max. The promised "share liberation" would increase the foreign investment percent. However, the Russian government has been stalling ever since May.

And still hasn't announced the increase in percent of non-government owned shares.

Meanwhile, Rosneft has announced it wants a quarter of the 1.5 billion dollar contract that Conoco-Phillips just bought into when it purchased a good percent of Lukoil. (I have a post somewhere on the board that details this transaction and how it potentially places CoP in an advantageous position to profit off Iraqi oilfield development via an old contract won/then cancelled by Lukoil.)

By the way, just to make sure we don't leave any aspect of the dirty-business surrounding the Russian oil industry out - Rosneft was on Saddam's voucher list

posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 08:15 PM
The Russian government, Putin, are/is going after entrepreneurs and any company, news media etc, that is not controlled by the Russian government. I expect this trend will continue until once again communism is in control of Russia once more. Isn't it ironic that many Russian military defectors said this is what was going to happen and it was part of the plan?.... yet they were not believed.... There are probably still people that won't believe this is true, but the evidence is pointing to the contrary. If it was happening in the U.S. people would be up in arms.

[edit on 20-12-2004 by Muaddib]

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