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23

Gazprom Considers 2008 Dividend Cut

Gazprom said it was likely to cut its dividend payout for 2008 following a fall in its annual net profit

But the company will not change its dividend policy based on market capitalization and profits, and it will continue to invest in its main projects, chief financial officer Andrei Kruglov said.

Gazprom said Friday that it swung to $7.76 billion loss, under Russian accounting standards, in the fourth quarter of 2008 from a 147.2 billion ruble profit in the third quarter.

Denis Borisov, an analyst at Solid brokerage, said the loss implied that its 2008 net profit was 173 billion rubles, a drop of more than 50 percent year on year.
 

Gazprom has been growing net profit every year since at least 2000.

Kruglov said Gazprom's board would consider the dividend payment at a meeting later this year and that the firm was standing by its dividend policy, which was adopted in 2003.

The policy provides that the firm should pay annual dividends of not less than 2 percent of its market capitalization but not more than 10 percent of its net profit under Russian accounting standards.
 

Author: Ksenia Kochneva

Source : The Moscow Times