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The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has not yet received Gazprom's application for the purchase of Rosneft
"I do not have such information," said Anatoly Golomolzin, FAS deputy chief, this Monday. At the same time, he explained that under the law the anti-monopoly bodies' permission is needed in order to conclude this transaction. "As regards the size of the assets involved, this deal is subject to the respective article of the law on competition and restriction of monopolistic activity on commodity markets," Golomolzin said. As he specified further, this transaction is subject to the law on competition under the current legal provisions, whereby the FAS checks the deals with assets amounting to no less than 200,000 roubles (with $1 being roughly equivalent to 28.67 roubles), and under the new wording of the law which has not yet been passed by the State Duma (as regards the deals with assets exceeding 3 bln roubles). At the same time, the FAS' spokesman believes that the merger of Russia's largest gas holding and Rosneft will have no tangible effect on economic concentration in the oil market. He recalled that the Yukos-Sibneft merger was a more sizeable deal, but it was approved by the FAS. (Actually, the deal was later denounced even before the merger procedure.) Previously, Alexei Miller, Gazprom's chief, said that before the end of the year Rosneft would become Gazprom's subsidiary to be chaired by Sergei Bogdanchikov, Rosneft's present chief. Gazprom's new subsidiary will be called Gazpromneft, and when is it being established, Rosneft's assets will be added to Gazprom's oil-producing assets. In the opinion of Mikhail Fradkov, Russia's prime minister, the Gazprom-Rosneft merger will make it possible to resolve a number of problems, for instance, enhance the united company's competitiveness on the world markets. "The establishment of such a company is a multipurpose task. Simultaneously, it will fulfil the task of liberalising the market of Gazprom shares, of which there is much talk today. Other tasks include the formation of a state-owned share packet and Gazprom's transformation into a transparent company. Add to this the unification of oil and gas producing companies' assets for enhancing the sector's efficiency and competitive ability on the world market," the premier said in conclusion.
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