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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 15:36 GMT
Russia's Rosneft sees profit jump
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russia's Putin wants to develop the nation's oil and gas firms
Russia's state-owned oil company Rosneft has seen its profits surge after buying Yuganskneftegaz, the main business of troubled rival Yukos.

Net income was $2.44bn (1.4bn) in the six months to 30 June, from $340m a year ago. Sales hit $9.9bn from $2.3bn.

Yugansk was seized last year from Yukos to settle an unpaid tax bill and sold to Rosneft in a controversial move.

Russia is now planning a partial privatisation of Rosneft, with shares possibly going on sale next year.

Tighter controls

The Yukos affair, which also saw the arrest and imprisonment of company founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, brought international attention onto Russia and how it treated investors and stock market listed companies.

Despite widespread criticism that the company's problems were politically motivated, Yukos's most valuable assets were seized.

Yugansk accounted for 60% of Yukos's daily production of 1.7 million barrels of oil.

The move is seen by some as part of a wider plan to bring more of Russia's valuable natural resources under state-control at a time when commodity prices are reaching record levels.

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