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Indian battleground

Rosneft is expanding its reach in Asia, competing against Middle Eastern exporters

The $12.9bn sale of India's Essar Oil to Rosneft and other investors has opened up a new battleground in Asia, where Russia's state-controlled energy firm is treading on territory considered strategic to Middle East exporters. It follows Saudi Aramco's efforts to build a customer base in Europe, Rosneft's established market. Arundhati Bhattacharya, the chairman of State Bank of India, and Andrei Kostin, boss of Russia's VTB Bank, expect that the deal will close very soon. The original agreement to sell 98% of Essar to the Rosneft-led consortium was first signed in October, but has been repeatedly delayed. Rosneft bought a 49% stake in Essar's refinery, port and petrol pumps, while Netherla

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