June 30, 2017 / 4:12 PM / 23 days ago

Russia's Sistema lodges appeal against asset freeze

2 Min Read

The logo of Russian conglomerate Sistema is seen on a board at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017 (SPIEF 2017) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 1, 2017. Picture taken June 1, 2017.Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Sistema (SSAq.L) (AFKS.MM) has filed an appeal with a regional arbitration court against an asset freeze in its legal dispute with oil producer Rosneft (ROSN.MM), the Russian conglomerate said on Friday.

State-controlled Rosneft is suing Sistema for 170.6 billion roubles (2.23 billion pounds) in damages following its purchase of oil producer Bashneft (BANE.MM) last year, alleging some assets were removed from Bashneft. Sistema has rejected the claims.

This week, the Arbitration Court of the Russian region of Bashkortostan froze more than $3 billion of Sistema's assets as part of interim measures while considering Rosneft's lawsuit.

The court is due to hear the lawsuit on July 12. It will consider Sistema's appeal against the asset freeze on July 6, Interfax news agency reported.

Sistema sees no point in selling assets yet to pay, should it lose the case, RIA news agency quoted Sistema Chief Executive Officer Mikhail Shamloin as saying on Friday.

"If we lose the case on all levels, we'll have to pay. In the meantime, the lawsuit is not lost, what's the point in selling assets now?" Shamolin was quoted as saying in an interview with Russia's RBC TV channel.

London-listed shares in Sistema were up 2.3 percent by 1440 GMT.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; editing by David Clarke

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