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Gazprom May Cut Dividends Up to 44% on Ukrainian Debt, VTB Says

OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest natural-gas producer, may cut the dividend it hands out from this year’s earnings by as much as 44 percent because of unpaid bills from Ukraine, according to brokerage VTB.

The Russian state-run gas exporter said today its first-half profit according to Russian accounting standards, used to calculate dividends, sank 38 percent to 155 billion rubles ($4.3 billion) because of a 179 billion-ruble provision for bad debts. Gazprom made the provision mainly because of Ukraine, the company’s spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said by text message.