TNK-BP Tumbles as Sechin Spurs Zero Dividend Woes: Moscow Mover

OAO TNK-BP Holding fell to the lowest level in more than a month on concern the oil producer’s shareholders won’t get a payout for last year.

The stock dropped 3.4 percent to 40.83 rubles by the close in Moscow, the lowest since April 10, decreasing for a third day. The number of shares traded was 484,200, equivalent to about 72 percent of the three-month average. TNK-BP has declined 30 percent this year.

Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of TNK-BP’s new owner, OAO Rosneft, proposed that the state-controlled company will only be accountable for TNK-BP dividends from March 21, the date when it took control, Rosneft’s press service said today by phone. Sechin also suggested setting dividends at a level similar to that of Rosneft, which pays out 25 percent of profit.

“The chances of getting a dividend for last year have sharply decreased,” Stanislav Kopylov, who helps manage about $3 billion at UralSib Asset Management in Moscow and holds TNK-BP shares, said by phone. “Dividends might be zero.”

Rosneft became the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer by output in March when it closed its $55 billion acquisition of TNK-BP from BP Plc and a group of billionaires. TNK-BP Holding is the traded unit of TNK-BP. Rosneft’s decision not to buy out minority stakes, followed by a move to borrow money from the company and end its dividend policy, sent TNK-BP Holding’s shares tumbling the most on record March 26.

Investors including Templeton Emerging Markets Group and Prosperity Capital Management Ltd., which manages about $4 billion of Russian assets, said at the time Rosneft was putting Russia’s reputation at risk.

“Sechin’s statement sounds negative for the minorities,” Ildar Davletshin, an analyst at Renaissance Capital, said by phone from Moscow. “Most likely, last year’s profit won’t be distributed among minority shareholders.”

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