Gazprom reduces Purgaz stake
BY JAMES MARSON
MOSCOW -- Gazprom has reduced its stake in Russian natural gas producer Purgaz to below 50%, which will allow Purgaz to halve its mineral extraction tax (MET) payments. Gazprom has lowered its stake to 49.3% from 51%, a document posted on its website shows. The buyer isn't named, and a spokeswoman declined to provide further details.
Gazprom's majority-owned subsidiaries pay MET at around twice the rate of independent producers. The reduction in its Purgaz stake will yield gains of around $50 million for Gazprom, although this effect would be undermined by the decrease in its share of production, said VTB Capital in a note to clients.
A Gazprom executive said that the company could sell 1% in another joint venture, Nortgas, to new coowner Novatek in order to reduce the MET rate.
Dow Jones Newswires