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Monday, March 02, 2009

Gazprom may cut '08 dividend by 26 pct -paper

MOSCOW, Feb 27, 2009 (Reuters by Tanya Mosolova) - Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) may cut 2008 dividend by 26 percent, a newspaper reported on Friday. Vedomosti business daily quoted two unnamed sources close to Gazprom as saying that the gas firm has allocated 46.6 billion roubles ($1.30 billion) for dividend payments in its 2009 spending plan, approved in December. In 2007, it paid record dividends of 63 billion roubles, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. Gazprom declined to comment. Russia is currently reviewing budget spending for 2009 prompted by a sharp fall in oil prices and officials have said the government may recommend to state firms that they sharply cut investment programmes and even scrap dividend payments. Gazprom's board will set its dividend recommendations to shareholders after the company publishes its 2008 financial results under the Russian accounting standards in April

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