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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gazprom says not expecting net loss in Q4 2009

Valery Golubev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom’s Management Committee* Deputy CEO disputes analysts' forecasts of Q4 loss
* Financial investments may be cut by around 30 pct in 2009
* Main capex plans are not under review

05-20-2009 - Reuters by Denis Pinchuk - ST PETERSBURG, Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) does not expect to see a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2009, the company's deputy chief executive said on Wednesday. Gas prices follow oil prices, typically with a lag of 6-9 months, and are expected to catch up with sharply lower oil prices by the fourth quarter of this year, prompting some analysts to predict a net loss for Gazprom. "No such loss is expected," Valery Golubev told reporters. "(That forecast) is not correct," he said, adding that Russia's economy ministry was forecasting an average global natural gas price of $250 per thousand cubic metres in 2009. "This is a very good price, even if in the fourth quarter it will be lower," Golubev said. Gazprom shares were up 2.55 percent 180.5 roubles at 1322 GMT, underperforming the broader market . Gazprom said last month it was expecting the slump in global oil prices and an ongoing decrease in demand for fuel in export and domestic markets to hurt its financial results in 2009. In adjusting to the lower demand and the difficult macroeconomic environment, Gazprom may cut financial investments by around 30 percent this year but will leave capital expenditure intact, Golubev said. "We are talking about lowering the financing plan by about 30 percent. We are not looking to amend our investment programme in terms of the planned capital construction of capacity," he said. Gazprom has voiced particular concern over lower demand from the domestic electricity sector, a major consumer of gas, causing it to cut production. But Golubev said the domestic demand situation had stabilised last month. "In Russia for April demand went along the planned levels."

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