NOT ENOUGH YUKOS TO GO AROUND
Aug 8 2007
The Moscow Arbitration Court has approved YUKOS bankruptcy manager
Eduard Rebgun’s petition to extend the oil company’s bankruptcy
process, but only for three months, rather than the six months he
requested. The deadline for the bankruptcy, set a year ago, was
August 4. The Federal Tax Service, the company’s largest creditor,
supported Rebgun’s original request. The extension was shortened at
the insistence of Rosneft, the main buyer of YUKOS assets and its
second largest creditor. That way, the bankruptcy will be completed
before foreign courts begin hearing suits filed by YUKOS shareholders
who did not receive money from the process.
Observers were surprised by the court’s decision. Rebgun told
journalists outside the court that the sale of YUKOS property has not
raised enough money to pay off the company’s creditors, predicting
that, even after the sale of the last three lots of YUKOS property,
the company’s creditors will be left short $2.2 billion.
No money will be left to pay YUKOS shareholders. Rebgun mentioned that
the General Prosecutor of Russia’s Office has initiated a criminal
case against the management of Group MENATEP, the chief shareholder
in YUKOS, and the former management of the YUKOS London office for
the embezzlement of $10 billion of the company’s overseas assets. He
said that the YUKOS CIS Investment Co. in Armenia was used to funnel
off income from oil sales.
Five Spanish funds have filed suit against Russia in the international
commercial arbitration court in Stockholm demanding compensation for
losses caused by the confiscation of YUKOS property.
They cite a treaty on the defense of investments that Russia is party
to and are demanding about $50 million. The YUKOS corporate case
is also before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,
and Dutch courts are hearing cases on the rights of YUKOS overseas
shareholders. Observers say that the other courts are waiting for
the decision of the Strasbourg court before making their own rulings.
Courts are usually wary of intervening in political cases.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress