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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosneft Granted Status of Strategic Company

Russia's inclusion of Rosneft in its list of strategic companies will protect the state-controlled oil firm from bankruptcy and keep the state's share at no less than 75 percent, analysts said Friday.

The government said late on Thursday that it had added state-controlled Rosneft, the country's biggest oil company, to its list of strategic companies that are protected because they provide research or resources crucial to national defense.

"Strategic status offers special conditions for bankruptcy, and makes the liquidation process more difficult," said Caius Rapanu at UralSib. "Furthermore, under this status, the Russian government's 75 percent stake in Rosneft may not be reduced until Rosneft is included in a privatization plan."

Including Rosneft in the strategic list could lead to a re-rating of its debt, said Steven Dashevsky at Aton brokerage. Rosneft had debt of $13.8 billion at the end of 2006 and earlier this year it arranged an additional $22 billion credit to finance its purchase of assets from the bankrupt oil firm Yukos.

"Investors may find comfort in the state's enhanced support of the company's debt obligations, expressed through special bankruptcy procedures and perceived potential link between the country's and the company's credit ratings," he said.