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Russian court orders Sistema to pay Rosneft $2.3 bn in damages

In 2014, Russian govt claimed Bashneft's privatisation was illegal and seized Sistema's assets in it

Reuters  |  Moscow 

A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow
A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow

A Russian court ruled on Wednesday that conglomerate should pay more than 136 billion roubles ($2.3 billion) to oil major in a dispute over oil producer

controlled until 2014 when the government seized its stake, saying Bashneft's privatisation had been illegal. bought a controlling stake in from the government in 2016 and in May filed the lawsuit seeking compensation from Sistema, saying assets were removed from

has rejected these claims as groundless.

The court battle has hit shares and rekindled broader fears about investor rights in Russia. is headed by Igor Sechin, a close ally of President and one of the country's most influential businessmen. 

shares have almost halved in price since early May, when lodged its claim. After Wednesday's verdict, the shares fell by around 3 per cent in Moscow, while global depositary receipts in London were up 2.5 per cent.

spokesman Sergei Kopytov said the company would appeal the decision by an in the city of "On the whole, the process has been one-sided without any impartiality at all, which had predetermined today's ruling," he said.

The amount the court ordered to pay was less than Rosneft's initial claim of almost 171 billion roubles. A spokesman said the company was satisfied with the ruling but would decide on whether to pursue further damages once the court publishes its full verdict. In June the court froze more than $3 billion of Sistema'sassets, including part of its 50 per cent stake in telecoms company as an interim measure while considering Rosneft's lawsuit.

First Published: Wed, August 23 2017. 23:18 IST