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    A plaque for the Rosneft Oli Company outside the company headquarters in Moscow, Russia, in this file file photo dated Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012

    Rosneft Dismisses Moody's Downgrade as 'Cartel Operation'

    © AP Photo / Mikhail Metzel, File
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    The lowering of Russia’s oil giant by Moody’s to “negative” is a “cartel operation,” Rosneft press secretary Mikhail Leontiev said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The lowering of Russia’s oil giant Rosneft by Moody’s to “negative” is a “cartel operation,” Rosneft press secretary Mikhail Leontiev said Thursday.

    “Rating agencies are operating like financial cartels and this is considered as cartel operations on the market,” Leontiev said.

    On Wednesday, Moody’s lowered the ratings to “negative” of Russia’s largest oil, gas, metallurgic, and transportation companies, including Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, LUKoil, and NOVATEK.

    The rating agency explained its decision in the context of the weakening of Russia's credit profile.

    Leontyev noted that being a publicly traded company, Rosneft, most certainly, cares about its rating. But it was anticipated that the company's rating would be downgraded after Moody lowered Russia's sovereign rating.

    "Rosneft is a company with brilliant fundamentals in comparison with all the world's publicly trading companies," he stressed.

    Last Friday, Moody's downgraded Russia's sovereign debt rating from Baa3 to Ba1, giving a negative outlook citing decreasing oil prices among other reasons.

    The Russian Finance Ministry commented on the matter, stating that the decision was based on excessively pessimistic forecasts and did not take into account the strong sides of the Russian economy, that have successfully demonstrated resilience to external shocks.

    The Russian economy has been experiencing a slowdown mainly due to a drop in oil prices and sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West over Ukraine.

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    Tags:
    Oil, Rosneft, Moody's, Mikhail Leontiev
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