18 Apr 2018 19:10

RZD prepared to pay dividends; but expecting state support for long-term development program

MOSCOW. April 18 (Interfax) - Russian Railways (RZD) is prepared to pay dividends, but in this case, expects government support for investment projects stipulated in its long-term development program.

"When we presented the long-term development program, one of the conditions was that net profit remained at the company's disposal and the payment of dividends on preferred shares only. If this seven-year program is adopted and these investment projects are considered necessary, then the question of financing sources will arise," RZD CEO Vadim Mikhailov said in a briefing on Wednesday.

"The state may collect all dividends, but in this case the question begs: if the projects in the investment program are worth doing and need to be implemented, then there must be some counter-weight from the viewpoint of state support for these projects," he said, adding that the monopoly "will fulfill any shareholder decision."

"We came up with the proposal that we will not ask for government support except for those projects which have already been specified, but that we would keep profits at the disposal of RZD Holding. There will be discussion and a decision on this situation. [It] will be fixed in the directive," he said.