Intesa has not yet syndicated a loan for acquisition of Rosneft shares
The bank considers the Russian company a very reliable partner
Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has not yet opted to syndicate a EUR 5.2 billion loan issued to the oil trader Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to buy a 19.5% equity stake in Rosneft, according to Antonio Fallico, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banca Intesa, a Russian Intesa subsidiary, who spoke to journalists on the margins of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi.
“No, we are not interested in that… I don’t want to comment on this. That’s what they are saying, but we feel comfortable and calm. Rosneft is a very reliable partner, so we are not bringing other banks onboard, we are calm, calm so far”, he said in reply to a question about which banks would join a consortium for the Rosneft share deal (quotes according to Prime).
On January 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked the participants in the Rosneft privatization for their trust and assured them of successful development of their business: “I would like to express confidence that your business in Russia will develop, and develop successfully”. Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina was present at that meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Antonio Fallico mentioned in mid-February that Intesa was seeking to raise EUR 2.5–3 billion as part of the Rosneft shares loan syndication, Reuters reported. He added that Intesa was in loan syndication talks with 14 international banks.
At an Italy–Russia business breakfast on Tuesday, Antonio Fallico said that three years of sanctions had complicated relations and called into question the trust not only between countries but also between entrepreneurs. Even so, trade between Russia and Italy had increased, he noted. “We cannot expect a lifting of sanctions in 2017. Unfortunately, there’s no way to overcome the bureaucratic process quickly”, Antonio Fallico said.
Italy’s Ambassador to Russia Cesare Maria Ragaglini noted that no Italian company had quit Russia since the sanctions were imposed. According to him, this testifies to Italy’s strategic interest.
What is more, Intesa is interested in acquiring a big bank in Russia. “We will be looking at opportunities to buy another bank and, if that happens, recapitalization takes place too. For now, we’ve been focusing on banks that are universal for us, that is, ones with the bulk of their customers in the corporate domain”, Antonio Fallico said in reply to a question about whether Intesa would recapitalize its Russian subsidiary in 2017. “We believe that a small bank in a big country presents a big risk, so if we own a big bank in a big country, that would mean a smaller risk for us”, he said.