Rosneft to focus on integrating Morgan Stanley's oil trading unit

Russian oil exploration major Rosneft said on Friday that it would focus on integrating Morgan Stanley's oil trading unit it agreed to acquire last week rather than go for new acquisitions.

The move points to Rosneft's keenness to profit from its own trading after selling oil for years via international energy companies such as BP or trading houses such as Vitol and Gunvor, according to commentators.

Rosneft, led by Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, is the world's top listed oil producer by output. It bought TNK-BP in a $55 billion deal this year, following it up with purchases of domestic and foreign assets as it moved toward emerging as a global energy major.

Meanwhile, with Morgan Stanley agreeing to sell majority of its global physical oil trading operations to state-controlled Rosneft, the lender has become the latest Wall Street firm to dispose of a major part of its commodity business.

In an announcement two weeks ago Deutsche Bank said it was also largely exiting commodities trading, while JPMorgan said it was selling its physical trading operations.

"At the moment, we are focused on this deal completion and the asset's maximum possible integration into the Rosneft structure," Reuters quoted the company as saying in an emailed reply to a question about its future trading acquisition strategy.