"Rosneftegaz" will pay the state dividends twice a year

In 2017, the state company will pay 33 billion rubles, which is half what it received for its stakes in Rosneft, Gazprom and Inter RAO.
"We always have optimistic plans," - said at the end of last year at that time still the Minister of Finance, and now - First Deputy Prime Minister - Finance Minister Anton Siluanov on the government's plans for Rosneftegaz dividends. His optimism proved to be justified. The government managed not only to agree with one of the most closed Russian state companies on sending at least 50% of the net profit to dividends, but also to increase the frequency of payments. About this "Vedomosti" was told by three federal officials. According to them, Rosneftegaz is moving to a permanent payment of interim dividends for the first half of the year.

All three called "Vedomosti" and the approximate amount of dividends for the last year - 33 billion rubles. One of the officials claims that this is almost 100% of the company's net profit under RAS. This indicator for the end of 2017 amounted to 34 billion rubles. "Yes, the order of the figures for net profit and dividends is this," Vedomosti's interlocutor, close to the government, confirms. Of this money, 17.26 billion rubles. the company has already paid Rosimushchestvo an interim dividend for the first half of 2017. Thus, in the second half of 2017, Rosimushchestvo will get 15.74 billion rubles.

Rosneftegaz does not conduct operating activities and does not publish its financial statements since 2014. Through the company, the state controls Rosneft (50% plus 1 share) and owns a part of the stake in Gazprom (10.97%) and Inter RAO (27 , 63%). In 2017, these companies sent to the dividends for 2016 and the first half of 2017, 318 billion rubles. Of these, Rosneftegaz accounted for 72.8 billion rubles. Dividends from Inter RAO (4.23 billion rubles.) And Gazprom (21.8 billion rubles.) Attributable to Rosneftegaz are subject to a 20% tax, one official said. Payments of Rosneft (51.97 billion rubles.) Under the Tax Code for taxation do not fall, since Rosneftegaz owns a controlling stake in the oil company. Thus, the difference between the proceeds from the dividends of state companies and the net profit of Rosneftegaz amounted to 38.8 billion rubles.

What Rosneftegaz could spend money on is not clear. One source of Vedomosti says about a possible currency revaluation, and two more remind about investment programs that Rosneftegaz pays.

"The money of Rosneftegaz is completely under government control," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2015. "We finance some things from there when the government forgets that there are priorities that need to be paid attention," he noted. Among the projects of Rosneftegaz, Putin called the construction of the shipyard Zvezda in the Far East (costs about 146 billion rubles), the launch of the turboprop regional Il-114-300 (more than 50 billion rubles) and the engine for wide-body aircraft PD-35 (it is planned to install on a promising Chinese-Russian plane CR929, 180 billion rubles.), as well as the electrification project of Kaliningrad (100 billion rubles.). Rosneftegaz does not disclose whether it financed these projects last year and, if so, how much it spent on them.

The transition to semi-annual dividends of Rosneftegaz will be explained, says the head of the direction "Fiscal Policy" of the Economic Expert Group Alexander Suslin. One of the main sources of income is Rosneft's dividends, and the latter just started paying twice a year. Perhaps this is the result of negotiations with the Finance Ministry, which is eager to fill the budget, says BCS chief economist Vladimir Tikhomirov. He is sure that for the Kremlin, Rosneftegaz is a spare purse, money from which can be spent without agreement with the State Duma for emergency needs in the event of unforeseen circumstances. But the existing system creates uncertainty, and also reduces the transparency and efficiency of spending public resources and potentially can be a corruption factor, Suslin believes.