PM criticizes judge's decision to lock payment dividends for 2018 by Naftogaz
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has criticized the decision of Kyiv's district administrative court that suspended a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers obliging NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy to send UAH 12.25 billion to pay dividends, which is 90% of the company's net profit for 2018.
"Recently, one of the judges of Ukraine decided on the claims of several state-owned companies, for example, Naftogaz, to stop transferring nearly UAH 15 billion of dividends to the country's budget by Naftogaz Ukrainy," he said, expressing dissatisfaction with the decision at a government meeting on Friday.
In this regard, Groysman called on members of the government for the next meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers to make a protocol decision on making a proposal for the dismissal of heads of state-owned enterprises who are suing the government and do not comply with its decisions.
"The state-run company versus the state is nonsense. This is not the first court hearing where Naftogaz is trying to deliver an ultimatum to the state... If they continue parasitizing on government issues, I will not tolerate it. I think you need to make a protocol decision of the government, send it to the supervisory boards and the company's management. You should raise the issue that they have to withdraw all their lawsuits against the state before Wednesday. If they do not do that, I suggest that the ministries that coordinate Naftogaz, Turboatom, some other companies make proposals by Wednesday to dismiss such top managers," he said.
Earlier, on July 3, Chairman of Executive Board of Naftogaz Ukrainy Andriy Kobolev said that the company paid dividends to the national budget in the amount of 30% of its net profit for 2018, while the government resolution, which sets a 90% dividend payment standard for Naftogaz, suspended by a court decision.
Kobolev said that after attracting additional financial resources or completing gas pumping in the underground gas storage (UGS) facilities Naftogaz will be ready to increase the payment of dividends.
Kobolev reminded that the company, preparing for the winter, in the conditions of possible interruption of gas transit by Gazprom from January 1, 2020, intends to pump additional volumes of gas into underground storage facilities, bringing them to the beginning of the heating season up to 20 billion cubic meters. To complete the task Naftogaz need to additionally find about $600 million in the shortest possible time. At the same time, any break in the pumping will make a target of 20 billion cubic meters physically unattainable.
As reported, Naftogaz Ukrainy, as a separate legal entity, in 2018 reduced its net profit by 64.3% (by UAH 2.532 billion) compared to 2017, to UAH 13.613 billion.