October 27, 2017 / 8:59 PM / a year ago

Russia's Rosneft interested in taking stake in Croatia's INA: paper

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Russian energy company Rosneft (ROSN.MM) is interested in acquiring a stake in Croatian oil and gas company INA INA.ZA, Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin said in an interview with a Croatian daily.

“We’re certainly interested in investments in this region and we’re considering the possibility of entering INA’s ownership structure,” Sechin said in an online edition of the Jutarnji List daily late on Friday.

Hungary’s MOL (MOLB.BU) is currently the biggest shareholder in INA with a bit less than 50 percent. The Croatian government holds almost 45 percent.

The two have been at odds in the last few years over management rights and investment policy. Croatia said last December that it wanted to buy back INA shares held by MOL, and in August it began seeking an adviser for that move.

MOL and Zagreb have also been in disagreement over the future of INA’s loss-making smaller refinery in the central town of Sisak.

“If Rosneft enters INA’s ownership structure, its facilities would be modernized and able to deliver oil products on the market in a sustainable manner,” Sechin said.

Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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