Gazprom becomes Russia's highest-valued firm

Oil pipes

Russian gas giant Gazprom has became the country’s top publicly-traded company by market capitalisation after its shares shot up to their highest level since 2008.

The shares in the Moscow-based firm have climbed 10% today to 235.81 to value the firm at 5.59trillion Russian rubles (£67.7bn)

The rise has been driven by a new dividend policy, according to reports.

Gazprom reports surge in profits

Gas works

Russian energy giant Gazprom has reported a 44% jump in first-quarter profit.

It made $8.3bn thanks to higher gas sales and prices.

Gazprom's sales account for a whopping 5% of Russia's GDP.

Annexation of Crimea and political stand-off with the west notwithstanding, Gazprom still sends around two thirds of its gas to Europe. However, volumes are falling and in the last quarter it sold 12% less gas to Europe compared to a year earlier.

Gazprom happy with EU deal

Gas tanks

Russia's Gazprom has said it is satisfied with the deal it struck with the EU to settle claims that it abused its dominant position as a gas provider in Eastern European member states.

The firm said in a statement that the decision was "the most reasonable outcome" for the entire European gas market.

Although the deal spares Gazprom billions in fines, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it also imposed strict obligations on the company's future behaviour.

At the same time, it "removes obstacles created by Gazprom, which stand in the way of the free flow of gas in Central and Eastern Europe", she said.

Gazprom dodges EU fine

Gazprom sign
Getty Images

EU regulators have ended a seven-year-long investigation into Gazprom after the Russian gas giant agreed to reforms aimed at cutting gas prices and allowing rivals a foothold in eastern Europe.

The European Commission, which launched the case with dawn raids at 20 offices in 10 countries in 2011, said Gazprom's concessions addressed its concerns over excessive pricing in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The EU decision to accept Gazprom's pledges has allowed the company to avoid a possible fine.

Gazprom supplies about a third of the EU's gas and contributes 9% of Russian GDP.