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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosneft Made $9Bln Loan to Obscure Firm

State-controlled oil company Rosneft said on Thursday that it had lent over $9 billion to the obscure bidder that bought Yukos's biggest unit at a state auction last December.

Rosneft said in its annual accounts that it lent Baikal Finance Group -- the unknown company that bought Yuganskneftegaz -- 260.78 billion rubles ($9.1 billion) interest-free until the end of 2005.

A few days after the Yugansk sale on Dec. 19, Rosneft said it had bought Baikal, which was at the heart of one of the biggest asset transfers in Russia's post-Soviet history.

The disclosure lifts some of the mystery surrounding the controversial Yugansk sale by confirming a link, which many oil industry watchers presumed, but were not sure, existed between Rosneft and Baikal.

It remains unclear whether the credit was actually used by Baikal to buy Yugansk at the auction when the company bid 260.75 billion rubles for one of the jewels of Russia's oil industry.

The sale of Yugansk -- which produces 1 million barrels of oil per day --marked the climax of a messy battle between Kremlin officials and Yukos's owners, two of whom are now in jail.

Rosneft said a few days after the Yugansk auction that it had bought Baikal, a company registered at the address of a food store in a town outside Moscow.

In the accounts, which were posted on the company's web site, Rosneft also said that in 2004 its units issued $5.3 billion in promissory notes, which it guaranteed and which were bought by Trade-Express, a little-known company.