News // Politics
Gazprom says operations «not affected by Brexit» amid relocation fears
05 April 2017 , 10:09Neftegaz.RU574
Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom has moved to quash speculation it is looking to relocate its London operations due to fears over trade barriers after Brexit, Belfast telegraph reported on April 4, 2017.
The firm's deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said London-based Gazprom Marketing and Trading (GM&T), which takes part in the company's global trading, retail carbon and LNG business, would not be impacted by Britain's divorce from the EU.
«GM&T operates worldwide, and focuses on trading, LNG and UK retail, while European business is mostly covered by the long-term contracts of Russian-based Gazprom Export. The announced Brexit has not impacted our activities on the UK gas market, neither the LNG portfolio», he said.
His statement follows speculation Gazprom is considering moving GM&T operations out of London.
It has been reported a review was launched amid concerns over Brexit trade tariffs that could raise the cost of doing business with its most important export market, the EU.
GM&T was set up in London in 1999 and employs around 450 staff, while a further 100 employees are based at its site in Manchester, which focuses on retail operations, according to its website.
Gazprom's website identifies London as GM&T's headquarters, but lists other offices in France, Switzerland, Singapore and the US.
GM&T is owned by Gazprom Export, which falls under the Gazprom Group umbrella.
The parent company is more than 50% owned by the Russian state.
William Jackson, a senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said Russian industry tends to rely far more on EU countries than the UK for trade, and that potential tariffs between the 2 may not bode well for business.
«Russia's exports to Germany are about 3 times as large as they are to the UK. It exports more to Italy than it does to the UK. Clearly it wouldn't be helpful if there were barriers,» he said.
Terms of trading between the EU and Britain have yet to be set, but Mr Jackson noted that natural resources such as oil and gas more readily get a free pass between borders - which could be good news for Gazprom.
To read this news in Russian.
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