17 Mar 2020 17:29

Some state cos requesting deferment of dividend payments, decisions to be made on case-by-case basis - Moiseyev

MOSCOW. March 17 (Interfax) - Some state companies have proposed that their dividend payments for 2019 be deferred, and these decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told reporters.

"State companies have [aired these requests]. I won't say who," Moiseyev said.

"This should not extend to everyone, I don't think, because the situation is different for everyone. As such, our response now is that it's necessary to walk through the justifications and consider each case individually," he said.

The deputy did not disclose the sectors of the number of companies which have made such requests, citing the law on insider information.

The Finance Ministry would still like to see these dividends be paid into the budget in 2020, even if a deferment decision is made.

"Of course, this money is factored into the budget, there is more than 500 billion rubles in dividends factored in, so we are of course proceeding from the assumption that all this money (it's obvious that there will be losses of profit somewhere, while in other cased there could be an increased in profit due to the changed ruble exchange rate) as a whole, that we will take receipt of this money this year," Moiseyev said.

The timeframe for dividend payment will also be determined separately for each state company.

"Of course, we would prefer as easy as possible, since budget expenditures have grown substantially, including due to measures that have been announced, so we are, of course, interested in money arriving as early as possible, but we won't be heavy-handed, we will consider each individual case," the deputy minister said.

Business daily Vedomosti reported on Monday that a "dividend holiday" could be one of the measures of the anti-crisis program currently being drawn up by the government. The most obvious candidate for this program would be Aeroflot, analysts have said.