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Sibneft Preparing For Sale»

Sibneft's Board of Directors approved on Monday the payout of a record $2.29 billion in dividends

Russia?s oil company Sibneft?s Board of Directors approved on Monday the payout of a record $2.29 billion in dividends to shareholders, led by billionaire Roman Abramovich, what aroused rumors that the company is preparing for sale.

?Sibneft had a successful year in 2004 and it is proper that we share that success with all of our individual shareholders and institutional investors,? the company president Eugene Shvidler said.

The new proposed payout is bigger than Sibneft?s entire 2003 profit of $2.28 billion. The firm has not yet released its 2004 results to International Accounting Standards.