To put these numbers in perspective, dividend disbursements totaled $25.0 bln in 2011 and the free float portion was $7.0 bln; in 2010, these figures were $19.0 bln and $5.4 bln, respectively; and in 2008, they were $23.0 bln and just $6.6 bln. Thus, 2012 inflows from dividends are 48% higher than what we saw in the summer of 2008, and up 40% from last years' total disbursements to free float shareholders.
Among the largest contributors to the dividend stream, Gazprom will disburse $7 bln in total dividends, including $2.8 bln to portfolio investors. TNK-BP will share $3.6 bln in total this year, including $186 mln to portfolio investors. Surgutneftegaz will pay out $1.6 bln to portfolio investors, Sberbank will pay $630 mln, Gazprom Neft $237 mln and Rosneft $152 mln.
In addition to generous dividend disbursements, there are several ongoing buyback programs that will provide investors with cash. Rosneft's buyback offer could total as much as $3.5 bln. Uralkali has already spent $500 mln of a $2.5 bln buyback program. And Severstal is looking to buy back $2 bln. On top of these, LUKoil's potential buyback could reach $2-3 bln, while InterRAO UES might spend as much as $1 bln on its own shares. All told, as much as $8.5 bln could be disbursed to investors participating in buybacks.
Total cash payments for buybacks and dividends could total $12-14 bln by end summer, assuming $3.5 bln from Rosneft and some flows from Uralkali. Total disbursements for this year could be as high as$19 bln, or 9% of Russian free float, which we estimate at $ 21 bln.
Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist Troika Dialogue