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Creditors approve liquidation auction for Yukos foreign assets-1

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MOSCOW, July 13 (RIA Novosti) - Yukos creditors approved an auction to sell shares in Yukos Finance B.V. (Netherlands), which controls the bankrupt oil company's foreign assets, the bankruptcy receiver's press secretary said Friday.

"A decision has been made that the shares will be sold at an auction. The sales terms contain all essential information for buyers under Dutch law," Nikolai Lashkevich said.

The starting price for the lot will exceed 11 billion rubles ($430 million). The date of the auction has not yet been announced.

An Amsterdam court of appeal upheld May 24 an earlier ruling that Yukos receiver Eduard Rebgun is the sole legal representative of Yukos Finance BV, and may sell its assets.

Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, was declared bankrupt on August 1, 2006, after three years of litigation with tax authorities over tax arrears. Its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year prison sentence in Siberia for fraud and tax evasion.

Rebgun said earlier that the company had started repaying its principal debt worth $400 billion rubles (about $15.5 billion) to third-tier creditors, including payments to the federal budget.

The Yukos register of creditors' claims includes 137 claims from 63 creditors totaling 709.512 billion rubles (about $27 billion).

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