Russia Gazprom mulls additional share issue-report

MOSCOW, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom GAZP.MM is considering an additional share issue next year as one of the options to fund its planned 32 percent rise in capital expenditure, Kommersant business daily said on Monday.

The newspaper quoted government sources as saying that the option was discussed at a meeting of energy officials with First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov last week. “The officials discussed several options of direct state support, including additional issue of Gazprom’s shares by direct subscription,” a government source said adding that the matter will be discussed again next year.

Gazprom declined to comment on the report.

The state controls just over 50 percent of the shares in Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer and a supplier of a quarter of Europe’s gas needs.

Gaprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said last week his company may ask the state to co-fund its 2009 investment programme, set at 920 billion roubles ($32.75 billion), including capital investment of 700 billion roubles. (Reporting by Tanya Mosolova; Editing by Erica Billingham)