MOSCOW — Gazprom shareholders backed Russia’s biggest ever dividend payout totalling 1.208 trillion roubles ($21 billion) at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the state-controlled gas giant on Friday.
Shareholders backed an interim dividend of 51.03 roubles ($0.8921) per share, the gas producer said in a regulatory disclosure.
The total payout is the highest in Russian corporate history.
Shares in Gazprom initially rose by around 5% after the announcement before reversing course to trade down by about 2% at 1020 GMT, following the wider Moscow stock exchange lower .
Gazprom shareholders in June unexpectedly decided not to pay dividends on last year’s results, doing so for the first time since 1998.
Dividends offer retail investors a way to profit at a time when Western sanctions have hit the value of Russian companies.
VTB Moi Investitsii brokerage said retail investors may cash in some 144 billion roubles from the dividend.
“We expect the second-half 2022 dividend may reach some 10.3 roubles (per share) with dividend yield of 4.7% due to exports decline,” it said.
Gazprom’s gas exports to Europe, its key source of revenue, have been falling amid Russia’s standoff with the West. Russian gas exports capabilities were severely hit this week following ruptures at offshore Nord Stream pipelines.
($1 = 57.0000 roubles) (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)