Sberbank Not Interested in Owning Antipinsky Refinery: Exec

Sberbank is not interested in owning the Antipinsky oil refinery, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, the lender’s deputy board chairman Anatoly Popov said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The largest privately-owned oil refinery in Russia halted operations on several occasions because of a lack of funds to pay for crude oil deliveries. Its owner, Dmitry Mazurov, has been detained on fraud charges. Sberbank had been the main creditor of the Antipinsky refinery.

“Most importantly – and we repeat this constantly – is that the bank cannot be the ultimate owner of the oil refinery,” Popov said at the Eastern Economic Forum in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. “It must be run by an owner working in the field.”

Popov added that the prospect of bankruptcy proceedings for the refinery was high because of its substantial debt and a large number of creditors. Claims against the refinery as part of its bankruptcy case amount to more than 346.5 billion rubles ($5.2 billion).

The head of the Antipinsky refinery, the country’s largest independent oil-processing plant, told Reuters last month that it was on track to more than double its August output following the suspension of its operations for more than two months.

Popov also said the bank hoped to reach an agreement on the debt restructuring of Russian coal and steel producer Mechel by the end of the year.

In late July, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said Antipinsky could receive government support.

After the refinery came under the control of Sberbank, 80% of its shares were sold to the Socar Energy Resource Company, a joint venture of the bank and Azerbaijani energy major Socar.