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Analyst report predicted that Gazprom’s pipeline projects will lose lots of money. $28B to be exact.

By DASKAA following x   2018 May 23, 6:57pm 404 views   0 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

On May 22, Sberbank CIB fired an analyst named Alex Fak after he authored a report criticizing executive decisions by the company Gazprom. The document, written with another Sberbank CIB analyst named Anna Kotelnikova, leaked to the media on May 21, though it was intended only for Sberbank CIB’s clients. In the report, the analysts argue that the chief beneficiaries of Gazprom’s export pipeline projects aren’t Gazprom’s shareholders but the contractors hired to build them, which happen to be companies controlled by some of Vladimir Putin’s closest friends.
... Alex Fak has works as an analyst since 2006. Before joining Sberbank CIB in 2008, he was a financial columnist for The Financial Times and Reuters. In 2016, Sberbank CIB’s press service announced that Fak was voted Russia’s leading research analyst in that year’s Extel Pan-Europe Survey.

The Sberbank CIB report predicted that Gazprom’s pipeline projects will lose lots of money

In their report, Fak and Kotelnikova studied the construction of the export gas pipelines the “Power of Siberia” (to China), the “Nord Stream 2” (to Europe, along the bottom of the Baltic Sea), and “TurkStream” (also to Europe, along the bottom of the Black Sea). The analysts found that the “Power of Siberia” will cost $55.4 billion, which is more than Gazprom can recover in export sales to China, leading to an estimated $11 billion in losses, say Fak and Kotelnikova.

The analysts argue that an alternative pipeline to China called “Altai” would have cost Gazprom at least five times less money than the “Power of Siberia.” Fak and Kotelnikova speculate that the company went with the more expensive option because it was favored by its two biggest contractors: Stroygazmontazh and Stroytransneftegaz, which divided up “almost equally” the main contracts to build the pipeline. The former company belongs to Arkady Rotenberg, and half of the latter is owned by Gennady Timchenko and his family. Both these men are considered to be key figures in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Additionally, another contract in the pipeline project went to a company called Sibur, which partly belongs to Timchenko.

Fak and Kotelnikova reached similar conclusions about “Nord Stream 2” and “TurkStream,” finding that the first pipeline will cost Gazprom $21 billion and won’t become profitable for at least 50 years, while the second project will cost $17 billion and won’t pay for itself for two decades. The Sberbank CIB analysts estimate that Gazprom will lose $17 billion because of these pipeline projects.


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