Why should Gazprom buy its own shares?
The mysterious purchaser of two stocks of Gazprom’s quasi-treasury shares was Gazprom itself. This was reported by Forbes.
In July and November, two batches of securities were sold to one buyer. It turned out to be parent company “Gazprombank – Asset Management”. Specific customer names are still not announced in order to maintain transaction confidentiality. Essentially, transactions represents the movement of shares.
During the first transaction, Gazprom received 494 applications for the purchase of shares with a total amount of 198.9 billion rubles. In November, 479 applications were registered in the amount of 238 billion rubles. Despite the great demand, the shares were sold on the principle of “one product in one hand.” The holding also did not inform clients and partners on conducting transactions. In total, the company earned $5.3 billion from both transactions.
The management of Gazprom has not announced the names of customers. Only at the end of December, Andrey Akimov, the head of the company, indicated that the shares were sold to a consortium of investors. He also specified that pension funds and private Russian investors are participating in the consortium.
Andrey Movchan, founder of Movchan’s Group, told Forbes in an interview that the market perceives such deal in two ways. Obviously, it was carried out by affiliates and it can not be called the market one. This option is good because in this case there is no need to pay income tax until the company have sold the share.
With the help of the transaction, Gazprom tried to increase the number of shares in free circulation, but the Moscow Stock Exchange refused to take into account both transactions and left the free-float index at the same level until the names of the buyers were announced.