Russia sold a 10.2-billion euro ($11 billion, Dh40.2 billion) stake in its largest oil producer to commodity trader Glencore Plc and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in a triumph for President Vladimir Putin, who announced the deal on state television personally.

In a surprise deal that comes despite US and European Union sanctions against Russia, the buyers will share a 19.5 per cent stake in state-run Rosneft PJSC, which pumps almost 5 million barrels a day. The biggest foreign investment in Russia since the crisis in Ukraine, it also marks a stunning return to deal-making for Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg little more than a year after his company was forced to raise cash from shareholders.

Glencore said in a statement it would commit 300 million euros in equity, with the rest coming from the Qatar Investment Authority — itself Glencore’s largest shareholder — and bank financing. Glencore said the deal was still in “final-stage negotiations” and would likely close in mid-December. The QIA declined to comment. Putin put the total deal value at 10.5 billion euros. It wasn’t immediately clear why that figure differed from the price Glencore cited.

“The deal became possible only thanks to your personal contribution,” Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Putin on Russian television. The company held talks with more than 30 potential buyers from Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East, he said.

Putin touted the deal as one of the “largest acquisitions in the oil and gas sector in the world in 2016”. (Gulf News)

The deal should include a board member seat for both of the new significant shareholders.

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