On March 12, head of the Federal Tax Police Department of Moscow Viktor Vasilyev said that they were discussing the issue of filing a criminal case against Gazprom management for tax evasion amounting to RUR30bn ($966m). After this announcement, on the market there appeared a report about Gazprom board chair Alexey Miller's resignation, who went on vacation on March 11, and Gazprom stocks fell by 7.6 per cent. Within one day the company's capitalization went down by $1.1bn. This is much more than the tax officers want to get from Gazprom. The company stocks price was going down all day long. Amongst everything else, the unprecedented fall is connected with the rumor circulating amidst brokers that Vladimir Putin had allegedly signed an order for Alexey Miller's resignation from the post as Gazprom's head. Alfa Bank and the United Financial Group are referred to as unofficial sources of information, and the most active seller of Gazprom stocks is Gazprombank. The rumors on staff changes in Gazprom have not emerged out of the blue. According to Gazprom press service head Igor Plotnikov, Miller went on vacation on March 11. The Gazprom board chair will be back at work only on March 22, and while he is away Vitaly Savelyev is filling in for him, the Kommersant newspaper reports.
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