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    Gazprom To Offload 2.9% Of Shares


Gazprom pledged to hike dividends earlier this year, causing its shares to hit a 10-year high.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Premium, Corporate, Corporate governance, Share prices, Investments, News By Country, Russia

Gazprom To Offload 2.9% Of Shares

More than 2.9% of shares in Russia’s Gazprom will be placed on the Moscow Exchange on July 25, the state gas supplier said in a statement.

The package of over 693.6mn ordinary shares will be sold in one lot by two of Gazprom’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Netherlands-registered Gazprom Gerosgaz Holdings and Cyprus-registered Rosingaz, the firm said in a filing on the London stock exchange. Based on the closing share price on July 24, the stock is worth rubles 147bn ($2.3bn), or rubles 212.94/share.

Gazprom's share price has traditionally trailed behind that of its private competitors in Russia because of its management's reluctance to share profits with shareholders and its high capital expenditure on ambitious international pipeline ventures. Its obligation to sell gas domestically at government-set tariffs has also deterred investors.

Its shares soared to a 10-year high in early June of rubles 251.65, however, after the company pledged to hike dividend payments to 50% of net profits. There have also been key changes in the gas giant’s personnel, including the replacement of three board members in charge of finance and domestic and overseas gas sales. Rumours are circulating that Alexei Miller, who has served as the company’s CEO since replacing old-guard Rem Vyakhirev in 2001, may also be on the way out.