Fund Unloads More Gazprom Shares

Vostok Gas, one of the largest institutional holders of Gazprom shares, pared its stake in the gas giant last week for a third straight week to comply with the terms of its debt, the fund said Monday.

The fund said in a weekly performance report that it held about 40.7 million Gazprom depositary receipts and 12,193 ordinary shares at the end of trading Friday.

"This represents a decrease of 7.5 million ADRs, or approximately 15.6 percent compared with the situation at the close of the trading day on Friday, Oct. 17," Vostok Gas said.

The ADRs were sold in the market to ensure compliance with the covenants connected to the company's bank debts, it said.

It was the third week in a row the fund reported such sales, and it also sold shares in mid-September. Over the past five weeks, it has sold around 35 million shares, according to its filings.

Market watchers say Gazprom shares are widely used as collateral on debt and remain subject to sell-offs as borrowers are hit with margin calls.