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News // Incidental

Polish gas monopoly blocks dividend payout to Gazprom

23 September 2016 , 18:00Neftegaz.RU1031

Polish gas monopoly PGNiG has blocked the payment of USD 200 mln in dividend to Gazprom from the jointly owned EuRoPol Gaz, a Polish daily reported on September 23, 2016.

 

PGNiG owns 48% of the voting rights in EuRoPol Gaz, with Gaz-Trading, a company controlled by PGNiG owning 4% of the company.

This in turn gives PGNiG a total of 52% of voting rights on the EuRoPol Gaz shareholders' committee, with Russian energy giant Gazprom having the other 48%.

 

According to the Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily, the issue started at the EuRoPol general shareholders meeting in late June, when it was decided that the company will pay out bonuses totalling PLN 2 mln.

A later payment from foreign banks to the Polish state-controlled PKO BP bank of the equivalent of PLN 540 mln was subject to the bonuses being paid out.

The foreign transfers were made in at least two tranches in July and August. They were put into bank deposits which cannot be withdrawn for a set period of time.

 

Up until the final transfer was made, the board of EuRoPol Gaz kept postponing the implementation of one of the points of the June general meeting, which related to the payment of dividends.

Once all the fund transfers had been confirmed, PGNiG – with the consent of then Treasury Minister Dawid Jackiewicz – decided that dividends amounting to $200 mln would not be paid out.

The daily said that the money would have been spent on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a German-Russian project which will circumvent Poland and other countries in the region.

 

The agreement with Gazprom to build the pipeline was signed by German companies BASF and E.ON, Austrian OMV, British-Dutch Shell and French Engi.

The Visegrad Group, which comprises of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, has requested the European Commission to probe the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

A letter sent by V4 countries asked the commission, headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, to conduct a «rigorous assessment» of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, which will circumvent the Visegrad Group.

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