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Business

Rosneft-BP deal creates new global oil leader

British oil firm BP has sold its half of joint venture TNK-BP to Russian oil giant Rosneft. The deal creates the world's largest publicly-listed oil company and is part of Russia's drive to repatriate its oil resources.

Under the deal signed Monday, Russian state-backed oil company Rosneft will pay $17.1 billion (13.1 billion euros) in cash for BP's 50 percent stake in TNK-BP, and give the British firm 12.84 percent of Rosneft shares.

In addition, Rosneft said it had also bought the other half of the stake in TNK-BP from Russian investors, driving the overall bill for Rosneft to $61 billion.

The takeover of TNK-BP has made Rosneft the biggest publicly-traded oil company in the world.

The deal was sanctioned by Russian president Vladimir Putin, who described the takeover as a good signal to global energy markets.

"This is a good, large deal that is necessary not only for the Russian energy sector but also the entire economy," international news agencies quoted Putin as saying.

However, Putin's effort to re-nationalize Russia's oil wealth has come at a price. BP managed not only to secure a 12.84 percent stake in Rosneft, but received assurances from the Russian government, allowing it to buy another 5.66 percent in the state energy firm.

Aggregated with BP's current holding of 1.25 percent, the British oil firm is set to own a total of 19.75 percent in Rosneft.

BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said the deal would build on the company's track record of value creation in Russia, and would deepen BP's position in the world's most prolific oil and gas regions.

uhe/sej (AFP, dpa, dapd)