. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Investigates Surgut 'Stock Swap'

Russia's main securities industry watchdog has launched an inquiry into a stock swap in a top oil company after complaints from shareholders.

NK Surgutneftegaz has been seeking to exchange stocks in its subsidiaries for shares in the holding company or, in an initial stage, in its production unit.

"We launched an investigation because there were complaints made to us by shareholders," said a spokeswoman for the Federal Commission for Securities and the Capital Market.

Critics of the exchange scheme say the valuation of shares in one unit -- St. Petersburg oil refiner Kirishinefteorgsintez -- was too low and the price offered to shareholders not wishing to make the swap was unrealistic.

The company says the shares were independently valued according to net assets.

More than 80 percent of the unit's shares had been exchanged by mid-March for shares in the holding company or in the AO Surgutneftegaz production unit.