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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Russian gas giant Gazprom slashes dividends to 1/7

05-18-2009 - MosNews - Following an order of the Russian government, state-owned gas giant Gazprom is slashing its dividends to a seventh of the 2007 sum. The government has told Gazprom to cut the dividends for 2008, Interfax reports. The board of directors decided to set the dividend payments at 0.37 rubles ($0.011) per share, which is a seventh of what it was in 2007, when the shareholders received 2.66 rubles ($0.082) per share. According to RIA Novosti, the dividend payments will take up five percent of the net profit, which in 2008 amounted to 173 billion rubles ($5.4 billion). Altogether, the amount of dividends will be around 8.65 billion rubles ($0.26 billion). Last month, Gazprom announced it would cut the dividends in half, to 1.28 rubles per share. In that case, the overall amount of dividends would reach the traditional 17.5 percent of the company’s net annual profit. In the first quarter of 2009 Gazprom’s earnings reached 33.043 billion rubles ($1 billion). Due to the shrinking gas exports and the lowering gas prices, the company’s profits in 2009 are expected to shrink. Gazprom’s capital stock amounts to approximately 118.7 billion rubles ($3.7 billion). It is split into 23.7 billion shares worth 5 rubles each. The company’s major shareholder is the state, which owns the controlling interest. OAO Gazprom's shares on the Russian electronic exchange RTS fell to less than a third in one year from 15.450 points in May 2008 to 5.050 points last week.

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