MOSCOW (Reuters) - Igor Sechin, head of Russia's top oil producer Rosneft <ROSN.MM>, said on Tuesday he would cooperate with minority shareholders in TNK-BP Holding <TNBP.MM>, marking an about-turn after investors complained they were not being treated fairly.
Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said he was waiting for proposals from the shareholders, just months after saying that he had no obligation to them and would not offer a buyout on completion of Rosneft's $55 billion (36 billion pounds) purchase of TNK-BP.
"We are in dialogue with the minority shareholders (of TNK-BP) and expect concrete proposals from them," Sechin told investors in London during a company presentation broadcast on the Internet.
Veteran investor Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Franklin Templeton's emerging markets group, said last week the TNK-BP buy-out "is the kind of issue that gives pause for thought on the behalf of investors coming to Russia".
"You had these ... oligarchs leave with billions of dollars, while minority investors are now sitting in a very risky, unstable situation," he said. He called for Rosneft to pay a dividend to shareholders.
Rosneft bought the Anglo-Russian oil producer from BP, which ended up with an almost 20-percent share of Rosneft as a part of the deal, as well as a consortium of four Soviet-born tycoons.
It acquired 95 percent in the traded unit, TNK-BP Holding, where minority shareholders still own almost 5 percent.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Megan Davies and Elizabeth Piper)