6 Jun 2022 15:24

Gazprom waives moratorium on bankruptcy, takes another step toward paying record dividends

MOSCOW. June 6 (Interfax) - PJSC Gazprom has filed an application to waive the moratorium on initiating bankruptcy proceedings on applications filed by creditors, according to the company's announcement on the Fedresurs unified federal register of important information on legal entities and individual entrepreneurs.

Consequently, Gazprom would not be subject to the moratorium introduced by the Russian government's instruction dated March 28, 2022.

"PJSC Gazprom hereby declares that PJSC Gazprom waives being held subject to the moratorium on initiating bankruptcy proceedings on applications filed by creditors, as introduced by Russian government instruction No. 497, dated March 28, 2022, for a period of six months, and enters information about this into the Unified Federal Register of Bankruptcy Information. As of the date of publication of this application, the moratorium does not apply to PJSC Gazprom; and the restrictions on the rights and obligations as stipulated in Article 9.1, paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Law, do not apply to PJSC Gazprom and its creditors," according to the application.

Beginning April 1, 2022, the government has introduced a six-month moratorium on initiating bankruptcy proceedings upon request of creditors in relation to legal entities, individual entrepreneurs, and citizens. In order to retain the right to pay dividends or conduct a buyback, an issuer must waive the moratorium.

Gazprom also waived the moratorium on bankruptcy for the first "Covid" period of the validity in 2020, which it announced on July 9 at the time.

The current announcement is another step on the part of Gazprom toward the final approval of dividends for 2021. The company's board of directors last week recommended paying 52.53 rubles per ordinary share, though the shareholders must still approve the decision at the upcoming AGM on June 30.

"This would be record-high dividends in the company's history, as well as in the entire history of the Russian equities market," Gazprom emphasized in a statement.

The board's recommended dividend payment corresponds exactly to the calculation of payments in accordance with Gazprom's policy on allocating at least 50% of adjusted net profit to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to shareholders.