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Putin Thanks Foreigners for Rosneft IPO

President Vladimir Putin invited foreign bankers and oil executives to his Novo-Ogaryovo residence Friday night to thank them for helping pull off Rosneft's IPO.

Noting that July's initial public offering was the world's largest in the oil and gas sector, Putin suggested that the foreign partners had done the right thing by taking part.

"I think you can be happy with our joint work," he told the executives, who included Morgan Stanley chairman and executive director John Mack and JP Morgan CEO William Winters, Interfax reported.

Rosneft's capitalization has risen to $92 billion, up $12 billion since July when its stock began trading publicly, Putin said in comments posted on the Kremlin web site.

He said 115,000 individuals had purchased shares in Rosneft and stressed that the company must play by market rules.

Also attending the meeting were Herbert Walter, executive director of Dresdner Kleinwort investment bank; George Ratilal, vice president of Malaysian state oil company Petronas; Rair Simonian, chairman of Morgan Stanley; Chen Tonghai, chairman of Chinese oil company Sinopec; Hans-Jorg Rudloff, chairman of Barclays Capital and member of Rosneft's board; Sergei Bogdanchikov, president of Rosneft, Pyotr Aven, president of Alfa Bank, Andrei Kazmin, chairman of Sberbank; and Igor Sechin, deputy chief of the presidential administration and chairman of Rosneft, the Kremlin said in a statement.

In the IPO, Rosneft raised $10.4 billion for 14.9 percent of its shares on exchanges in Moscow and London. BP, Malaysia's Petronas, China's CNPC and a fourth mystery buyer -- widely believed to be Gazprombank -- snapped up half of the offering.

Gazprombank may have been representing billionaires Roman Abramovich, Vladimir Lisin and Oleg Deripaska as well as companies close to Kremlin-linked Surgutneftegaz, Vedomosti reported in July.

(The Moscow Times 30.x.06)

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