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Govt. puts Rosneft back on strategic list to deter stake decline-1

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MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's government said Thursday it had put Rosneft [RTS: ROSN] back on a list of strategic companies, making it impossible to sell state shares in the oil giant.

State-controlled Rosneft was stricken off the list to hold an initial public offering (IPO) in the summer of 2006, when it raised $10.4 billion, the biggest in Russia's corporate history and the world's fifth largest.

The IPO proceeds were used to repay a $7.5 billion syndicated loan, which Rosneftegaz, its parent company, received in September 2005 to acquire a 10.74% stake in Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] and raise the state's stake in the energy giant to 50% plus one share ahead of its liberalization.

The state retained about 85% of the shares in the oil company after the IPO.

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