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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Investors in Yukos May Get Payout

Shareholders in bankrupt Yukos, once the country's biggest crude oil exporter, may receive a payout following the liquidation of the company, spokesman for Yukos' receiver, Nikolai Lashkevich, said Friday.

Asset sales have raised about 800 billion rubles ($31.5 billion) against current debts of 709 billion rubles, which must be paid first, the spokesman said. The spokesman said Yukos' total debts and tax burden have not yet been determined and the company's taxes may be "significant."

President Vladimir Putin has cemented state control over the oil industry after bankrupting Yukos. State-run Rosneft became the country's largest oil company by acquiring most of Yukos' assets for more than $25 billion after a series of forced auctions this year.

Yukos shares have fallen 98 percent since their peak close of $15.97 in October 2003.

Lashkevich said late-applying creditors would also be paid before shareholders and that 1.2 billion rubles had been claimed from the company after the initial round of applications. That figure could rise, he said.

Lashkevich denied a media report on Friday, saying the receiver would not pay any liquidation proceeds to Yukos' main shareholder GML, formerly Group Menatep.

"If there is money left, we will pay the shareholders, independent of whether they are minority or majority shareholders," Lashkevich said.