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Sberbank Overtakes Gazprom, Regains Leadership in Market Capitalization

The market capitalization of Sberbank of the Russian Federation during the bidding on Thursday reached 4.663 trillion rubles, as a result of which the bank regained its first place in Russia in terms of capitalization, lost at the end of last week, when Gazprom squeezed it out of the leading position which on July 2 amounted to 4.625 trillion rubles, Interfax reported.

According to experts, the change in the leader in the ranking by market capitalization occurred due to the fact that Sberbank stocks accelerated growth at the Moscow Exchange bidding amid improving conditions on world capital markets; securities of the bank rise in price by 1.5-2%, while the growth of quotations of shares of the gas company is only 0.8% compared to the closure on June 30.

Earlier, on June 26, Gazprom managed to get ahead of Sberbank in terms of market capitalization on the news of the approval of dividends for the last year at the shareholders meeting. At the first in absentia annual meeting of the corporation, Gazprom shareholders approved the payment of dividends for 2019 in the amount of 15.24 rubles per share, the company said. The total amount of dividends will amount to 360.784 billion rubles, including the state will receive 138.445 billion rubles directly to the package of the Federal Property Management Agency (38.373%), and the holders of the controlling state-owned shareholder Rosneftegaz JSC and Rosgazification JSC will receive another 42.784 billion rubles. According to the results of 2018, Gazprom’s dividend payments reached their peak at 16.61 rubles per share.

The list of shareholders for dividends will be compiled according to the register as of July 16. The recommended completion date for the payment of dividends to nominee holders and professional participants is July 30, and to other shareholders on August 20.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov commented on the meeting’s results to reporters: “The dividends were approved by the shareholders to the extent that the company’s board proposed and supported the board of directors. It is important that the proposal to pay such large dividends was made against the backdrop of the difficult situation in the energy markets.”

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Germany Calls U.S. Sanctions against Nord Stream 2 Unacceptable

Possible new U.S. sanctions against Nord Stream 2 are aimed at halting the project’s implementation, which complies with EU legislation, and therefore unacceptable, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Niels Annen said on Wednesday, as reported by TASS.

“It would block a commercial project, which is being implemented on the basis of EU law,” he said.

“The position of the German government on this issue is unequivocal: extraterritorial sanctions are a blatant interference with EU sovereignty. It is obvious that the U.S. side is trying to unilaterally stop the project,” Annen said.

He pointed out that, in addition to German, French, Dutch, and Austrian companies, as well as services, in particular, certification and supervision, may be at risk of restrictive measures.

“The fact that the U.S. Congress acts as a regulator in European affairs is absurd,” he emphasized. “The German government is convinced that the differences between the allies should be resolved through negotiations. Sanctions represent the wrong way,” Annen said.

The Nord Stream 2 project includes the construction of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

The pipeline will bypass transit states (Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland) through exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Gazprom’s European partners —British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, Austrian OMV, French Engie, and German Uniper and Wintershall —fund 50% of the project in total.

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Saudi Arabia Says It Could Start an Oil War on OPEC Countries

Saudi Arabia has promised an oil war to OPEC + countries in the event of failure to comply with agreements to reduce production, wrote with reference to The Wall Street Journal.

According to the interlocutors of the American publication, the Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman recently put forward an ultimatum to Angola and Nigeria. He asked for plans for additional reductions to compensate for their outstanding obligations, Radio Sputnik reported.

He also noted that he could start trading oil at reduced prices in order to undermine Angola and Nigeria.

OPEC + agreed on April 12 to reduce oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day in May-June, 7.7 million in the second half of the year and 5.8 million further until the end of April 2022. The base of reference was taken in October 2018, but for the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, 11 million barrels per day were taken, from which, by analogy with all, there is a decrease of 23%, 18% and 14%, respectively.

Earlier, Radio Sputnik reported that the Kremlin specified whether Putin planned to contact OPEC + participants.

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Russia lifts two-year ban on Telegram messaging platform

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Rusal puts Norilsk dividend review on hold over spill costs

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Fitch Maintains Forecast for World GDP Decline of 4.6% in 2020

The international rating agency Fitch has maintained an estimate of the fall in world GDP this year at 4.6%, according to a report by Global Economic Outlook (GEO).

At the same time, the forecast for the Chinese economy was improved to a growth of 1.2% from the expected 0.7% in May, Interfax informs.

In 2021, agency analysts predict an increase in global GDP of 4.9%.

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Mishustin Says Unemployment in Russia Up by 3.5 Times

Image source: RT

The number of officially registered unemployed in the Russian Federation since April 1 has increased by 3.5 times, but there is no need to talk about the explosive increase in unemployment, said Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Interfax reports.

“Our first priority is the fight against unemployment,” he said at a meeting on the situation on the labor market.

According to him, “since April 1, the number of people who were officially registered as unemployed by the employment service has grown more than 3.5 times, but judging by the data of the Ministry of Labor, they managed to avoid a sharp, explosive increase in unemployment.”

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Khrunichev Space Center to Lower Angara Rocket Carrier Prices

The prime cost of Russia’s carrier rockets Angara will be reduced before 2024 from the current sum of seven billion to four billion rubles (from $100.3 million to $57.3 million), according to the 2019 financial report of the Khrunichev Space Center (the Angara rocket manufacturer), TASS reported.

The Angara is a family of next-generation Russian space rockets. It consists of light, medium, and heavy carrier rockets with a lifting capacity of up to 37.5 tonnes.

The new family of rockets uses environmentally-friendly propellant components. So far, Russia has carried out only two Angara launches, both of them from the Plesetsk spaceport: a light Angara-1.2PP blasted off in July 2014 and its heavy version lifted off in December 2014.

The first and so far the sole launch of a heavy Angara carrier rocket with a payload mock-up took place from the Plesetsk spaceport in December 2014. A Briz-M booster was used as the rocket’s upper stage.

The second test flight of an Angara-A5 launch vehicle is due to take place from Russia’s northern spaceport in the second-third quarter of this year.

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