Analysts see struggle for control of Sibneft to continue

The moves against YUKOS and Sibneft by the Anti-Monopoly Ministry shows the ongoing struggle for control of Sibneft, analysts with the Veles Capital investment company believe. Some analysts think Nimegan Traiding reported the Anti-Monopoly Ministry on Sibneft`s outstanding tax. This is the company affiliated with some unnamed former Sibneft shareholder. Earlier Nimegan Traiding initiated the claim to freeze the YUKOS issue.

The experts foresee two possible scenarios of Nimegan Traiding`s actions. On one hand, this might be an attempt to seize control of Sibneft without paying back $3bn, paid by YUKOS for 20 percent in Sibneft. On the other hand, the shareholders of the two companies might have agreed on the merger reversal, and the claim on the outstanding taxes is the result of the process. If it is true, the shareholders are asking for trouble, the experts said. The Anti-Monopoly Ministry will be unlikely to cancel the deal it had approved earlier.

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