Shares of the state company "Gazprom" in the course of trading on the Moscow Exchange collapsed by more than 30%. The reason for the collapse was the decision of the board of directors of the gas monopoly not to pay dividends for 2021. The statement of the state-owned company says about the refusal of dividends.
At the opening of trading, Gazprom shares traded at the level of 300 rubles per share. The refusal to pay dividends became known at around 10:46 Moscow time after the publication of the release, the shares rushed down and at the peak reached 207.69 rubles, falling from the high of the day by more than by 30%.
“The meeting did not make a decision on the distribution of the company’s profits and dividends for 2021,” the state-owned company said in a statement.
At the same time, Gazprom did not refuse remuneration to top management. “A decision was made to pay remuneration to members of the Board of Directors and the Audit Commission of PJSC Gazprom, who do not hold public office and civil service positions, in the amount recommended by the Board of Directors,” the message says. The amount of remuneration is not given in the message.
Throughout 2021 and the first half of 2022, the state monopoly reported record revenues against the background of a sharp increase in the cost of energy in the world. At the end of 2021, the company's net profit increased 13 times and reached 2.16 trillion rubles, against this background, the decision to refuse to pay dividends looks illogical, most investors expected record dividends from Gazprom – the board of directors had recommended paying 52, 53 rubles per share, but the decision was not ultimately approved.
Refusal of dividends may have a negative impact on the Russian budget, since about 40% of the shares of the state monopoly belong to the state, moreover, this decision runs counter to the government's requirement, which previously obliged state-owned companies to direct at least 50% of net profit to dividends. The decision may be related to a decrease in gas production in Russia, as well as a reduction in gas supplies to European markets.