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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosneft Management Sees '08 Dividend

Rosneft plans to pay dividends for 2008, and its management is not discussing a merger with rival Surgutneftegaz, its president said Tuesday.

Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov said the firm's board would meet on April 24 to decide on the dividend.

"The management will propose to pay dividends. If the board supports the management's decision, we hope that the shareholders will not be disappointed," Bogdanchikov told reporters.

His comment echoed the opinion of Rosneft's chairman, Russia's top energy official, Igor Sechin, who said Monday that the company should pay a dividend for 2008 after saying in February that the state-controlled board may decide against doing it.

Bogdanchikov said Rosneft's management was not considering a possible merger with rival Surgut, commenting on yet another round of market rumors that Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer, could acquire the smaller and cash-rich private oil producer.

"We are not considering it," he said. "It is up to the owner [the government], not the management, to decide," he added.

Rumors that Rosneft is seeking to buy cash-rich Surgut were revived last month when the government nominated Surgut's veteran head, Vladimir Bogdanov, to Rosneft's board.

Bogdanchikov said he welcomed the idea, although the government had yet to announce the changes officially.

"Vladimir Leonidovich [Bogdanov] is a legendary figure in our oil and gas industry. This is very positive."

Bogdanchikov said Rosneft plans to increase oil output this year by 2 percent to 112.3 million tons (2.23 million barrels per day) this year from 110.1 million tons last year.

The increase will come on the back of new volumes from Rosneft's major oil and gas deposit in eastern Siberia, Vankor, which will be launched in the third quarter of this year.

The deposit will produce 3 million tons of oil before the end of this year and increase output to 11 million tons in 2010.