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Deutsche Bank wants Yukos US bankruptcy claim dismissed

[JURIST] Deutsche Bank asked a US bankruptcy court in Houston Tuesday to dismiss the filing of Russian oil giant Yukos for lack of jurisdiction, contending the company has no American presence beyond two small bank accounts and the residence of its financial chief. Yukos claimed the bankruptcy was properly filed in Texas because CFO Bruce Misamore was conducting company business from his home in Houston, having returned there earlier in December after learning that he may be targeted by Russian authorities if he returned to Moscow. Also, Yukos put $7 million in two Houston bank accounts to cover legal fees and Misamore's costs. Jurisdiction was found to be proper twice in this case when an injunction was granted and later upheld on appeal. Deutsche Bank was one of a consortium of banks, including ABN Amro and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, that had intended to fund a $10 billion to $13 billion bid by state-owned natural gas company Gazprom to buy Yuganskneftegaz, which produces 60 percent of Yukos' oil and 11 percent of Russia's oil. Deutsche Bank would have earned a significant fee from that transaction, but Gazprom withdrew from the bidding after the bankruptcy court order and the Yukos asset was bought was the mysterious Baikal Finance Group, which was later bought by Rosneft, a Russian state-owned gas firm slated for acquisition by Gazprom under a government plan. The next hearing in the bankruptcy is slated for Jan. 6. BBC News has more.

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