Board of Directors addresses current state of Gazprom’s consolidated debt load
The Board of Directors meeting is underway at the Gazprom Headquarters.
The Board of Directors took into account the information on the current state of Gazprom’s consolidated debt load and borrowings utilization efficiency.
The Management Committee was entrusted with continuing the work targeted at developing the monitoring system for Gazprom’s investment projects.
According to the latest published data on Gazprom’s IFRS consolidated financial statements, as at December 31, 2007 Gazprom Group’s overall debt accounted for RUB 1.51 trln, of which 34 per cent represent short-term loans. The bulk of the debt was owed by Gazprom – 61 per cent, Gazprombank (excluding SIBUR Holding) – 24 per cent, Gazprom Neft – 6 per cent.
During 2007 consolidated debt grew RUB 431 bln versus December 31, 2006. The increase was primarily driven by the need of financing the acquisition of several strategically crucial oil, gas and power assets. Gazprom plans to refinance and repay self-funded the bulk of the loans taken in 2007.
In the global practice during the evaluation of a debt level primary attention is paid to relative dent coefficients of companies.
Between 2002 and 2006 such a major indicator of debt level load as the overall debt/EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) ratio reduced from 2.13 to 1.12. Based on the results of the year 2007 this coefficient increased to 1.69. However according to Gazprom’s expectations, by late 2008 the Company’s relative debt will decrease to the 0.9 notch. The said coefficient for developing markets averages 1.1.
The dynamics of Gazprom’s credit ratings is an independent indicator of the positive consolidated debt dynamics. In 2006 all of the three primary international rating agencies – Moody’s, Standard&Poors and Fitch Ratings assigned Gazprom investment level ratings.
When managing the consolidated debt load, the Company’s executives take into account the need of maintaining credit ratings at an investment level and implementing the July 12, 2006 resolution by the Board of Directors on Gazprom’s strategic development targets.