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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$1Bln Payout Still Planned, Sibneft Says

Sibneft said Monday it still planned to pay its shareholders more than $1 billion in dividends for the first half of 2003 despite posting an unexpected net loss.

Sibneft, one of the country's fastest-growing oil firms, plans to pay a dividend of 6.44 rubles ($0.21) per share, or $1.01 billion -- a record in domestic corporate history.

The firm said in a statement that it posted a net loss of 623.9 million rubles ($20.6 million) under Russian unconsolidated accounting standards, compared with a net profit of 1.04 billion rubles in the first half of 2002.

"We will definitely pay the earlier promised dividend fully in line with the Russian legislation. The company will simply return to profit by September, when the dividend is due to be approved by the shareholders meeting," a company official said.

Sibneft, due to merge by the end of 2003 with bigger rival Yukos to become Russia's largest and the world's No. 4 private oil producer, said the first-half loss was mainly due to increases in production costs and commercial expenses.

Analysts expect Sibneft to post a net profit under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

Russian accounting standards differ significantly from those in more developed industrialized economies. Sibneft has repeatedly asked investors to consider its reporting under Russian standards as irrelevant and focus on GAAP-based figures.

Sibneft plans to hold an extraordinary shareholder meeting in September to approve plans to buy trading firm Rubicon.