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Romanian prosecutors lift most precautionary measures on KMGI's local assets

Romanian prosecutors lift most precautionary measures on KMGI's local assets KMGI

BUCHAREST (Romania), December 10 (SeeNews) - Romanian prosecutors have lifted most of the precautionary measures imposed in 2016 on assets of KazMunaiGas International (KMGI), majority owner of Romania's Rompetrol Rafinare [BSE:RRC], the oil refining company said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the Prosecution Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (DIICOT) dismissed the criminal charges pending in the so-called Rompetrol II case and lifted "a vast majority of the precautionary measures" it imposed in May 2016, Rompetrol Rafinare said in a statement.

However, the prosecutors kept a temporary precautionary seizure of four installations of Rompetrol Rafinare for a period of 30 days, up to the amount of approximately $106 million.

The temporary seizure has no impact at all on the Rompetrol Rafinare's activity and the network of Rompetrol filling stations, Rompetrol Rafinare said.

DIICOT temporarily blocked assets worth 3 billion lei ($695 million/628 million euro) in May 2016 as part of an investigation into suspected violations related to the privatisation of The Rompetrol Group. KMGI said at the time that the investigation may impact significantly its plans in Romania.

In a separate press release, KMGI International said on Tuesday that the prosecutors' decision consolidates the local holdings of the KazMunayGas group and opens the way for further investments required for the development of the group’s activities in Romania.

"Through this decision, the Romanian authorities confirm that the numerous controversies and debates raised over time do not imply criminal law issues, or their place is not before the criminal judicial authorities of the Romanian State. We appreciate the well-balanced nature of this decision, which is very important for the safety of the business environment and investment climate of Romania," KMGI said.

Rompetrol Rafinare is majority owned by Dutch-based KMGI, which holds a 54.63% stake. Romania's energy ministry owns 44.69% interest in Rompetrol Rafinare. KMGI, formerly The Rompetrol Group, is fully owned by Kazakhstan's state-owned energy company KazMunaiGaz Group.

Rompetrol was privatised in 1993 by means of a Management and Employee Buy Out process. In 1998, the company was bought by a local investor group led by Dinu Patriciu. In August 2007, KazMunayGas acquired 75% of Rompetrol's shares from Dinu Patriciu for around 2.5 billion euro.

Rompetrol Rafinare's shares traded 5.15% higher at 0.0510 lei as at 1526 CET on Tuesday on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.  

(1 euro = 4.7787 Romanian lei)

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