Source Pravda.Ru

Experts comment on Gazprom securities market liberalization

In the short term Gazprom might be affected by the announcement of Deputy Economy Minister Andrey Sharonov, who said that the Russian government had not made a decision on the liberalization of the Gazprom shares market, analysts say. However, long-term positive prospects for Gazprom securities are certain, they believe.

The Russian government is divided on the issue, Sharonov said. Some experts consider the proposed liberalization prudent when the state directly owns a 50-percent stake in the company. Others believe that the state has this stake in the company via Gazprom's subsidiaries, therefore, the liberalization is possible, they say.

The Russian government will increase its stake in the company to a controlling stake before the proposed liberalization, experts say. Before that time the government is unlikely to launch the liberalization process. The main issue now is how the state will increase its stake, analysts point out. Although nobody awaited a decision on this issue, Sharonov's comments affected the stock market.

The state is not interested in higher Gazprom capitalization, as it is going to acquire a larger stake in the company. The state currently owns 39.3 percent in Gazprom. The government needs 10.7 percent to secure a controlling stake in the gas monopoly. This stake was worth $5.4bn at the end of June.