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Moscow court sends Moravel case against Yukos for retrial

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MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - The presidium of the Moscow Arbitration Court ruled Tuesday to send for retrial a $680 million claim for unpaid debt filed by Cyprus-based Moravel Investment Ltd., a Yukos affiliate, against the bankrupt oil company.

Last July the Moscow Arbitration Court rejected the company's appeal to enforce a decision made by a London arbitration tribunal to charge Yukos, once Russia's leading oil company, the debt principal plus interest.

Moravel appealed against the decision, but the Moscow District Federal Arbitration Court rejected the appeal in September 2006.

On September 30, 2003, France-based financial services company Societe Generale extended a $1.6 billion loan to Yukos on the condition that the oil company would repay it ahead of schedule if there were a threat of default. When Yukos ran into difficulties, Societe Generale demanded that the remaining debt of $655.25 million be redeemed early.

Yukos, which was declared bankrupt on August 1, 2006 after three years of litigation with tax authorities over arrears, failed to honor its obligations, after which Societe Generale reassigned its claims on an outstanding loan to Moravel Investment Ltd., a subsidiary of Group Menatep, the investment vehicle used by Yukos' founders to control the oil company.

Moravel Investment Ltd. turned to the London arbitration tribunal, which ruled September 16, 2005 to charge about $680 million from Yukos.

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