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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Itera Unconcerned About Gazprom Board

Gas trader Itera said Monday it was unworried that discussion of its controversial links with Gazprom by the gas giant's board on Tuesday would lead to any changes and analysts agreed few surprises were afoot.

The board meeting will be the first with new Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller at the helm of the company after the ousting in May of veteran boss Rem Vyakhirev by President Vladimir Putin.

One of the items on the agenda is a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on its links with Itera, which has vigorously denied that direct ties with Gazprom managers have ensured its rise to a multi-billion-dollar firm. Gazprom, which has a quarter of the world's gas reserves, commissioned the PwC report to investigate the links and an Itera spokesman was confident the board would find little to complain about.

"We do not expect anything exceptional or scary for us tomorrow," said Itera spokesman Nikolai Semenenko, adding that he had not seen the report.

Formed in 1992, Florida-based Itera sells Gazprom and Turkmen gas. It is also increasing its own gas output.

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"We don't expect any radical measures that will change the characteristics of the relationship between Gazprom and Itera," said a Gazprom spokesman.

The international audit has been under preparation since last March when Gazprom minority shareholders said management should disclose the terms under which Itera obtains access to Gazprom pipelines and gas fields.

"The indicators are that the auditors … have found no ownership links between the two companies. In the absence of this, the transactions which Gazprom undertook with Itera, odd though they might appear to an outside observer, seem likely to be judged leniently," said brokerage United Financial Group.