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Russia's Rosneft to IPO shares as planned - executive

LONDON, February 14 (RIA Novosti, Alexander Smotrov) - Russian state-run oil company Rosneft is continuing with its preparations for an initial public offering of its shares, the company's president said Tuesday.

Speaking at International Oil Week in London, Sergei Bogdanchikov said the company was proceeding according to the schedule and hoped to IPO within the established timeframe.

Rosneft officials previously said the company intended to IPO its share package in the second half of 2006. Russian Fuel and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko, on a visit to London last October, confirmed this deadline.

According to Bogdanchikov, the IPO preparations include several stages, including meetings with investors and analysts. He said several road-shows and dozens of one-on-one meetings had already been held.

Also, Rosneft is consolidating its subsidiary enterprises and selecting businesses to be included in a consolidated pool, the company's president said.

Bogdanchikov said the IPO would help the company raise substantial funds to develop its mineral base, receive new licenses and bid in tenders in 2006-2008.

The funds raised through the IPO will allow the company to realize its goals and supply at least 25% of its oil output to the domestic market, Bogdanchikov said. In accordance with the company's business plan for 2006, Rosneft is expected to produce 80 million metric tons this year (1.6 million bbl/d).

Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref earlier said Rosneft was preparing for a $15-billion IPO, with $3 billion to be placed on Russian stock exchanges, and the remaining $12 billion on the London Stock Exchange.

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