- Russian oil giant Rosneft has recommended record high dividends for 2021.
- Rosneft posted record profits last year thanks to an oil price rally as demand recovered on easing pandemic restrictions.
- As Rosneft is a state-owned company, the Russian state would be the biggest winner from the payouts.
Russian oil giant Rosneft is planning to dole out record dividends to shareholders amid intensifying sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
Rosneft’s board is recommending 23.63 rubles ($0.38) a share for the second half of 2021, according to a Monday notice on the London Stock Exchange, where the company has a secondary listing. This brings full-year dividends to a record high of 41.66 rubles ($0.68.)
Rosneft saw record profits in 2021 thanks to a surge in oil prices on the back of a demand recovery on easing pandemic restrictions. As a company policy, Rosneft pays 50% of its net profit as dividends to shareholders. Shareholders will vote on the dividend recommendation on June 30, according to Rosneft’s notice.
As Rosneft is a state-owned company, the Russian state would be the biggest winner from the payouts. A Russian government-owned company owns more than 40% of Rosneft shares.
In contrast, foreign investors could face challenges getting paid. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered money owed to investors or lenders from “unfriendly states” to be transferred to special bank accounts in rubles, according to a Bloomberg translation of his decree in March. Recipients can only convert them into a different currency if they get special permission, per Bloomberg.
Rosneft’s dividend recommendation came on the same day the European Union agreed to cut 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of 2022. The trade bloc has been intensifying sanctions against Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
As Russia is an energy giant, the war in Ukraine has impacted international markets as investors fear supply disruption from the country due to trade restrictions, or infrastructure damage. This has driven up oil prices up about 60% this year so far.