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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sibneft to Pay Out $1.1 Billion

Sibneft, the nation's No. 5 oil company, announced Friday it would raise dividend payments for 2002 by 18 percent, despite having said a month ago they would remain stable on the previous year.

Sibneft said its board had recommended a dividend payout of 23 cents per share, up from 19.5 cents in 2001.

The payout, the largest ever by a Russian company, will total $1.09 billion, accounting for almost all of its revised 2002 net profit of $1.1 billion.

"The Sibneft board of directors has approved a recommendation to the annual shareholder meeting, to be held on May 15, 2003, on the payment of dividends in the amount of $1.09 billion," a Sibneft statement said. "The amount is equal to a dividend of $0.23 per share."

Friday's statement said the company would spend at least $925 million on capital expenditure in 2003 and boost production to 33 million metric tons from 26.3 million in 2002.

Shares on the Russian Trading System leapt 9.26 percent immediately after the announcement before falling back to trade under 7 percent higher.

"This cash was supposed to be for TNK's stake in Slavneft," said Vladislav Metnyov, co-head of research at Trust and Investment Bank. "But the parties have reached an agreement on consolidating all the assets. Sibneft basically distributed this cash."

Sibneft and Russia's third-biggest oil firm, TNK, bought Slavneft from the government for $1.86 million in December 2002.