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Gazprom market value dips below that of oil subsidiary Gazprom Neft

The market capitalisation of Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural gas company by output and reserves, has dipped below that of its oil unit Gazprom Neft amid high oil prices and after a dividend announcement by the subsidiary.

According to Reuters calculations, the market capitalisation, or valuation of all the shares combined, of Gazprom stands at 3.992 trillion roubles ($43.38 billion), while Gazprom Neft’s value has risen to 3.998 trillion roubles.

The development is yet another stark sign of the headwinds for Gazprom, which once hoped for a market capitalisation of $1 trillion, but is now faced with plummeting gas exports to Europe which cut imports from Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Gazprom did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Gazprom bought Gazprom Neft, which was then called Sibneft – hence its remaining ticker-like code SIBN.MM to identify financial instruments – for more than $13 billion from tycoon Roman Abramovich in 2005.

In 2007, Gazprom was the world’s third largest-company with a market capitalisation of more than $330 billion. Dmitry Medvedev, who was Gazprom’s chairman and went on to become Russia’s president and prime minister, said at the time that he wanted Gazprom to become the world’s most expensive company.

Gazprom Neft announced on Thursday that its board had recommended payment of 82.94 roubles per share in a 9-month dividend, far exceeding analysts expectations.

Moscow-based BCS brokerage said that Gazprom Neft’s valuation has exceeded that of Gazprom for the first time since at least November 2016.

“The trigger for the strong growth of Gazprom Neft shares was the recovery of the oil industry, the high cost of oil and the presence of dividends,” it said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Olesya Astakhova; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Alexander Smith)

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