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Russian Fin Min wants state firms to pay higher dividends in 2017

Staff writer |
The Russian Finance Ministry is asking for prolongation of a rule raising the minimum dividends of state companies to 50% of their net profit for 2017.

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Deputy Economic Development Minister Nikolai Podguzov said that on the sidelines of a forum.

“Firstly, the Finance Ministry is raising this question, of course, but it is at the stage of discussion,” Podguzov said.

The government has recently adjusted dividend payment rules for state companies obliging them to take the highest figure of a net profit for 2015 – under Russian Accounting Standards (RAS) or under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) – and allocate no less than 50% of the net profit for dividends.

Podguzov said: “There are companies that pay more than 25% (of the net profit) anyway and there are companies which argue that they need the dividends for their investment programs, investment projects. We must discuss this and come to a conclusion,” Podguzov said.

Russian gas giant Gazprom plans to allocate 186.784 billion rubles of its net profit for 2015 for dividends and spend 163.649 billion rubles on investment purposes, the company said.

Gazprom’s IFRS net profit rose fivefold on the year to 787.1 billion rubles in 2015, while its RAS net profit more than doubled to 403.5 billion rubles.

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