TNK-BP Falls to Record as Citigroup Calls Stock ‘High-Risk’

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- TNK-BP fell as Citigroup Inc. called the stock “high risk” on expectations of increased volatility after BP Plc said it will pursue a sale of its 50 percent stake in Russia’s third-largest oil producer.

TNK-BP fell as much as 4.7 percent and traded down 3.1 percent at 69.08 rubles at the close in Moscow, the lowest since the shares were listed on the Micex exchange in December 2010. The stock lost 10 percent on June 1 following BP’s statement.

“The odds appear to be that some change in ownership structure may occur in the coming months, in turn likely resulting in a change in the strategy pursued by the company,” Citigroup analysts led by Ronald Smith, said in an e-mailed note. “That day could be months away, and while we retain our 12-month buy rating, we now assign a high risk code to reflect the potential for volatility in the stock.”

The sale, which analysts said could raise at least $30 billion, would dismantle BP’s landmark venture, the largest foreign investment in Russia’s oil industry. BP said it is considering offers from unidentified suitors for its stake amid a dispute with billionaire partners that has kept the company from forming a board of directors since December.

AAR, which represents the billionaire partners with a 50 percent stake, said it made a preliminary proposal about buying BP’s interest.

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