“The updated free float factor will apply in index calculation from March 20, 2020, the date of the regular index constituents rebalance,” the Moscow Exchange said.
The move comes after the world’s largest conventional gas producer sold a 3.6% stake in November and a 2.9% stake in July on the market. Gazprom said in November its free float had risen to 49.61%.
When reviewing the indicators of the free float of shares, the Moscow Exchange’s decision is based on the recommendations of its Index Committee and information disclosed by issuers and investors to qualify packages of securities, which is provided for by the methodology for calculating free float ratios. At a meeting in November, the index committee recommended not increasing the free float of Gazprom shares.
“The reason is that there are no signs that the securities were sold to the market. On the contrary, Gazprom itself spoke of strategic investors,” one of the committee members explained to Interfax.
The Russian Federation controls a 50.23% stake in Gazprom – directly through the Federal Property Management Agency (38.37%), as well as through companies with state control of Rosneftegaz JSC (10.97%) and Rosgazifikatsiya JSC (0.89%).