24 May 2022 18:36

Number of state companies to allocate 50% of profit for dividends, directives for them ready - deputy finance minister

MOSCOW. May 24 (Interfax) - The approach to the payment of dividends at a rate of 50% of net profit by state-owned companies remains in place, and relevant directives are ready for a number of entities, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told reporters.

"The approach is being maintained, 50% in general for all remains in place, and many companies continue to pay. It is just that, naturally, as before we consider the financial situation of each company on an individual basis, and we are now doing the same. Obviously, to take 50% from banks in the current environment is insane. The same applies to a number of industrial companies. There are some that pay," Moiseyev said.

He did not specify which companies in particular he was referring to, citing the period of silence. "I will not talk about any of them at the moment, because it is the season of the 'silence of the lambs' at this time, but you will soon see that a whole series of directives published regarding 50% payments," the deputy minister said.

Gazprom is the largest payer of dividends in the corporate sector, and the board of directors will discuss the amount of its dividend the day after tomorrow, May 26. Gazprom's dividend policy is to pay out at least 50% of its adjusted net profit to IFRS to shareholders. Based on IFRS statements for 2021, the dividend calculation base amounts to 2.487 trillion rubles, which is 52.53 rubles per share and 1.244 trillion rubles in total. Such a payout would have been the maximum for the Russian stock market, and at the beginning of the year, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller confirmed the company's intention to set a dividend record. However, after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the imposition of harsh sanctions on Russia and retaliatory capital control measures, neither the company itself nor officials made statements about the company's dividends, which amid decisions of many other issuers to suspend profit distribution generated speculation in the market about the prospects of Gazprom's payments as well. In previous years, the management board drew up its dividend recommendation for the board of directors as early as April. In the present, suspense is clouding the issue until practically the last day.

Easing of dividend requirements by state-owned companies below the norm or exemption from payment is accepted by the relevant ministries and deputy prime ministers, Moiseyev added. "The issue is brought to the deputy prime ministers, and if the relevant ministry backs it and the deputy prime minister back it, then the company is either exempted or there is a reduction," the deputy finance minister said.