Kashagan Stake Remains Frozen After Dutch Ruling

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The 8.44% stake in the giant Kashagan project held by Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna remains frozen in the Netherlands after the Dutch Supreme Court declined to deliver a verdict on the matter and referred the case instead to the Court of Appeal in the Hague (NC Dec.17'20). Samruk’s 50% stake in KMG Kashagan B.V., the Dutch-registered joint venture with state oil company Kazmunaigas which owns a 16.88% interest in Kashagan, was "attached" over two years by a District Court in Amsterdam and has a market value of around $5.2 billion. The court had issued an injunction in favor of a group of investors led by Moldovan billionaire Anatole Stati, which is trying to enforce a $500 million-plus Swedish arbitration award made against the Kazakhs in 2013. Since then, the Kazakhs have been on a mission to get the Dutch ruling annulled, but so far without success. The Kazakh justice ministry said it hoped the Hague Court of Appeal would “consider the attachment to be unlawful" and would therefore call for its annulment. If the arbitration award is paid out, most of the money would, in theory, not go to Stati but to bondholders in Tristan Oil, a Stati-controlled vehicle that financed his projects in Kazakhstan. “We are determined to see that the fully adjudicated award is paid, we are and have been defending our investment and asserting our rights as bondholders,” a spokesman for US fund manager Argentem Creek Partners, a Tristan Oil bondholder, said after the Supreme Court decision.

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