Gazprom decided to take advantage of the sharp increase in its shares, caused by the promises of management to increase dividends, and is getting rid of most of the quasi-treasury securities bought in 2016 from VEB. During the SPO on the Moscow Stock Exchange, the company offered 2.93% of the shares, collecting bids for almost 200 billion rubles. The amount of the transaction is still unknown, but in the market, taking into account the growth of quotations by 3.3% during the day, the package is worth 152 billion rubles, which is 40 billion rubles. more than Gazprom paid for these shares in 2016.
Structures of Gazprom Dutch Gazprom Gerosgaz Holdings B.V. and Cyprian Rosingaz Ltd. On July 25, they unexpectedly announced the sale on the Moscow Exchange of a 2.93% stake in the monopoly from the quasi-treasury stake. The organizer was Gazprombank. According to Gazprom, he received almost 500 applications for 198.9 billion rubles. The final placement price will be known on July 26. According to the market at the close of trading on July 25, the package cost about 152 billion rubles. As a result of the transaction, 3.71% of quasi-treasury shares will remain on the balance sheet of Gazprom structures. As a result of the placement, the Russian share in Gazprom’s capital will not change (now 38.37% of the shares are owned by the Federal Property Management Agency, 10.97% by Rosneftegaz, another 0.89% by Rosgazifikatsia).
As a result of the deal, Gazprom got rid of most of the 3.6% stake, which in 2016 it had to buy from VEB.
The main part of these shares went to the state corporation during the purchase of a 2.7% stake in Gazprom at the end of 2010 from the German E.ON when it withdrew from the capital of the Russian monopoly (VEB bought the first 0.89% stake in the company in 2007). The cost of buying from E.ON, according to “Kommersant”, was at the level of 125 billion rubles. (about $ 4 billion at the exchange rate at that time). But when VEB had to sell securities of Gazprom within the framework of rehabilitation in 2016, the situation was significantly worse, and 2.7% of the shares in the market cost less than 100 billion rubles. ($ 1.5 billion), and the entire corporation share is about $ 2 billion. As a result, Gazprom’s structures received 3.6% of their shares for 132 billion rubles, consolidating a total of 6.53%, and VEB recorded a loss from the transaction more than 120 billion rubles.
Since then, Gazprom has been waiting for the right moment to monetize its quasi-treasury package, considering various options. Among them - placement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. However, according to the top management of the company, the market situation was unfavorable, and the securities of the monopoly remained undervalued by the market. But at the end of June, the head of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, stated that the current period is “most relevant” for the implementation of the quasi-treasury package, given that its market value has exceeded the purchase price. Since May, the company's quotes have grown by more than 34% amid sharply increased dividends and management promises to increase them further to 50% of profit under IFRS. It is noteworthy that on Thursday the shares of Gazprom grew at the moment by 8%, although usually the sale of a large package leads to a decrease in quotations. By closing the paper adjusted to 219 rubles. apiece (an increase of 3.3%).
Growth in Gazprom stock quotes, chief economist at IQ Asset Management, Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, connects with investors' expectations that as a result of the placement, free-float will increase and index providers (MSCI and FTSE) will be forced to increase their share in calculating indices. The current weight of the monopoly in the MSCI Russia index is 16.7%, after placement it will increase by 1 percentage point. As the expert explains, a large group of active and passive international funds is guided by such indices. In the case of an increase in the weight of Gazprom shares in the indices, the total inflow of funds from the funds, even by conservative estimates, could reach $ 270 million. This can happen at the end of August, ”Mr. Oganisyan notes. However, some active funds could have begun to increase the number of Gazprom shares in their portfolios in advance, without waiting for weight gain in the indices.
In general, this year, many Russian companies have attracted funding in the share capital market.
According to Kommersant's estimates, in the course of incomplete seven months, 11 offerings of shares totaling $ 2.85 billion were made, which is five times higher than the borrowings for the same period of 2018.
The main part of the placements (eight) was carried out by the current shareholders through an accelerated placement (ABB) totaling $ 2.2 billion. This was facilitated by the improved market conditions against the background of softening the rhetoric of the world's leading financial regulators, as well as improving the geopolitical background around Russia.