The 2007 takeover of the Dutch parts of Yukos Oil by Russian state oil company Rosneft’s former subsidiary Promneftstroy was illegal, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled on Friday, upholding an earlier lower appeals court ruling. Yukos Oil went bankrupt in 2006 after its former chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, fell out with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the Russian government began demanding billions in back taxes, Reuters reported. Most of Yukos’ assets were absorbed by the Kremlin’s flagship oil producer Rosneft, and its former owners have for years been trying to recover their possessions.
Brazil’s recent change of government has further delayed the long-awaited finalization of LyondellBasell Industries NV’s plan to buy Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA, three sources with knowledge of the matter said this week, Reuters reported. Netherlands-based LyondellBasell first said it had entered into exclusive talks to acquire control of Braskem from Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA in June. However, the deal’s price depends on a long-term naphtha supply contract with state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which also owns shares in Braskem.
Investors are asking fresh questions over whether the $8tn market in credit derivatives offers any true protection against debt default, after an obscure quirk threatened to render contracts relating to telecoms company VodafoneZiggo completely worthless, the Financial Times reported. The price of about $600m worth of credit-default swaps on the Dutch company has tanked over the past four days, nearly a year after problems first occurred with the contracts, which are designed to pay out if a borrower defaults.
For nearly a decade, Trafigura Group Chairman Claude Dauphin coveted a zinc deal with Europe’s top smelter. The commodities trader finally got across the threshold in 2015, months after its co-founder’s sudden death. Just a few years later, it’s become one of Trafigura’s biggest headaches, Bloomberg News reported. Nyrstar NV shares have plunged to record lows as falling zinc prices squeeze profit and drive worries about its huge pile of debt.