Analyst frets over Rosneft's debt burden

Nov. 27, 2012 at 7:14 AM

MOSCOW, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Rosneft could take a hit to its credit rating if it takes on too much debt, an oil and natural gas analyst said.

State-controlled Rosneft agreed to $30 billion loan package from foreign lenders to finance its planned acquisition of troubled Anglo-Russian joint venture TNK-BP, reports independent Russian news agency RT.

Rosneft reached an in-principle agreement with BP to buy its half of TNK-BP for $17.1 billion in cash and 12.84 percent of Rosneft's shares. In a separate deal, Rosneft agreed to take on the 50 percent stake in the venture held by Alfa-Access-Renova, the Russian side of the joint venture, for $28 billion.

In October, BP said its net income in the third quarter reached $5.4 billion, up from the $5 billion reported for last year. BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said the decision to divest the TNK-BP joint venture in Russia was part of his company's success.

Alexander Nazarov, an energy analyst at Gazprombank, a subsidiary of Russian energy company Gazprom, told RT that Rosneft's debt burden could be a problem.

"There is a point where raising debt would have a negative impact on Rosneft's credit rating," he was quoted as saying.

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