Indian Oil Companies' Dividend Worth $125.5 Million Stuck in Russia Due To Sanctions

Indian companies with stakes in two Russian assets are unable to repatriate 8 billion roubles ($125.49 million) in dividends due to western sanctions

Indian Oil Companies' Dividend Worth $125.5 Million Stuck in Russia Due To Sanctions

Indian companies with stakes in Russian assets are unable to repatriate 8 billion roubles in dividends

New Delhi:

Indian companies with stakes in two Russian assets are unable to repatriate 8 billion roubles ($125.49 million) in dividends due to tough western sanctions, an official at Oil India Ltd said on Friday.

A consortium comprising Oil India, Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp own 23.9 per cent of Russia's Vankorneft oil project and 29.9 per cent of the Tass-Yuryakh oilfield in east Siberia.

A dividend is paid quarterly for Tass-Yuryakh and half yearly for Vankor fields.

"Our dividend is lying in Russian banks and we cannot get it because of problems in swift clearance and other issues," said Harish Madhav, head of finance at Oil India, at a press conference to announce the company's quarterly earnings.

European countries and the United States have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, but India has not explicitly condemned the action.

State-run Oil India's net profit in the March quarter surged 92.32 per cent to 16.30 billion rupees ($210.20 million) as crude prices rose.

Oil India Chairman S C Mishra said the central government was "reviewing" the exit of companies from Russia and a consortium of Indian companies could consider buying stakes in those assets. "So far there is no aggressive approach from us," he added.

Reuters last month reported that India asked state-run energy companies to evaluate the possibility of buying Russian oil and gas assets shunned by BP and Exxon Mobile Corp in Russia.

Shell is also in talks with Indian companies to sell its stake in a major liquefied natural gas plant in Russia, sources told Reuters.

India's largest gas transmitter GAIL India Limited is open to buying distressed Russian oil and gas assets if the deal makes commercial sense, its chairman said earlier on Friday.

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