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Bashneft Recommends Record Dividend as Reorganization Continues

OAO Bashneft’s board recommended a final dividend of 37.5 billion rubles ($1.05 billion) that would boost the Russian oil company’s 2013 payout to a record.

While the total per share isn’t available due to a reorganization, it said in a statement, it would be higher than the 2010 dividend of 234.45 rubles per share, the previous record. Bashneft paid a dividend of 199 rubles per share, totaling 45.2 billion rubles, for the first nine months of 2013.

Bashneft, controlled by billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s AFK Sistema, boosted output 4.4 percent to a record 322,000 barrels a day last year after the company began production at the Trebs and Titov fields. The producer and refiner offered a buyout to shareholders that opposed a reorganization in February that canceled over 20 percent of its ordinary shares.

“Can Bashneft balance growth with high dividend payouts? I think so,” Ildar Davletshin, an analyst at Renaissance Capital in Moscow, said by phone. “The private model has a clear advantage over state-owned companies like Gazprom, where this goal has been elusive.”

Trading of Bashneft shares was halted on April 22 due to a change in deadlines for the company’s reorganization, the Micex exchange said. Ordinary shares closed at 2,119.80 rubles on April 21 in Moscow, up 10 percent this month.

The record date for the dividend is May 6 and shareholders will vote on the payment at the annual meeting on June 10, the company said in the statement on its website today.

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