Gazprom roadshow expected in April as corporate governance worries persist

With lead managers Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Smith Barney planning an April roadshow for its Eurobond, Gazprom, Russia’s biggest company, continues to face questions over its corporate governance record. London independent trader Simon Cawkwell said on Tuesday he had raised $1m as proceeds towards a possible representative legal action against Gazprom for allegedly breaking an agreement to ringfence the company’s domestically listed shares.

  • 09 Mar 2001
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Cawkwell claimed the company allowed the purchase of shares in Moscow, which are only open to Russian investors, for resale to non-Russians as American Depository Shares (ADSs) in New York at a 100% markup.

This, he claimed, broke a five year old undertaking, and damaged holders of the original ADSs, such as himself, by undermining the scarcity value of their investments.

Meanwhile, evidence has also arisen of links between Gazprom and rival gas producer Itera - a document relating to the founding of Itera in Florida in 1996 reportedly lists Gazprom as one of its managing partners. Itera came from a market share of zero in 1996 to be Russia's second biggest gas producer today.

The EBRD withheld $250m of lending from Gazprom at the end of January and awaits the result of independent audits of the relationship between Itera and Gazprom, launched by minority shareholders in Gazprom, and by the State Audit Office.

Despite these concerns, a banker at one of the mandated lead managers for Gazprom's Eurobond said a roadshow was pencilled in for early next month, and was only being held up by the preparation of paperwork.

An analyst at a securities house in Moscow was also upbeat about the bond's chances: "Other Russian companies have had bad corporate governance records too, but proved good debtors. Gazprom is probably the best corporate performer in Russia to invest in right now, assuming lenders do not care about shareholder rights."

  • 09 Mar 2001

All International Bonds

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1 Citi 22,118.13 61 9.00%
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3 JPMorgan 17,406.75 53 7.08%
4 HSBC 16,333.52 48 6.64%
5 Goldman Sachs 15,454.74 49 6.29%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
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1 BNP Paribas 43,328.12 198 6.63%
2 JPMorgan 42,145.56 84 6.45%
3 HSBC 38,419.93 154 5.88%
4 UniCredit 37,616.85 180 5.75%
5 ING 30,163.46 163 4.61%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
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1 Emirates NBD PJSC 408.38 1 31.73%
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2 JPMorgan 166.67 1 12.95%
2 Credit Agricole CIB 166.67 1 12.95%
5 Morgan Stanley 59.80 1 4.65%