Sale of Morgan Stanley Oil-Trading Business to Rosneft Likely to Fall Through

The sale of Morgan Stanley’s oil trading and storage businesses to state-owned Russian energy giant Rosneft appears to be in jeopardy following statements released by Morgan Stanley representatives. The transaction, which was brokered last year by the two sides and submitted for approval in July, has recently been hamstrung by the current state of economic relations between Moscow and Western nations. As it stands now, the deal’s viability is in doubt given the fact that Morgan Stanley must convince the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that the deal is not a national security risk. Further complicating the matter, Rosneft executives have been targeted by US sanctions, and the company’s ability to raise capital in United States dollars has been all but erased.

Sources report that the attitude of officials on both sides of the deal has grown “increasingly pessimistic,” while the eventual failure of the deal is considered to be in both sides’ “best interest.” Morgan Stanley has long sought to rid itself of its oil-trading business, though deals with other buyers, such as Qatar, have met similar fates. The banking giant already released statements declaring its willingness to consider other buyers should the deal with Rosneft fall through. Rosneft has not commented on the state of the transaction.

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