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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 15:17 GMT
Gazprom sees profits rise tenfold
Gazprom plant
Profits at Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom for the six months to June are 10 times the level of the year before.

The company said it made 103.76bn roubles ($3.48bn, 2.08bn) thanks to strong exports, on sales that rose 38%.

But the performance - which was far ahead of expectations - failed to lift the firm's shares in Moscow.

Investors blamed a $227m loan guarantee given to a company which will resell Gazprom's gas in Poland for the continuing concerns.


The deal means the company - Eural TG, registered in Hungary - is effectively competing with Gazprom's own monopoly in selling gas delivered to Poland via its pipeline from Turkmenistan to Ukraine.

Eural TG already resells the gas in Ukraine.

A Gazprom spokesman said the deal was dictated by Ukraine, in its position as the key transit country.

"We didn't really have a choice," the spokesman, Sergei Kupriyanov, told Reuters.

"But the deal will at least give us a chance to closely monitor all gas re-export transactions."

Gazprom shares were up 2% on Moscow's RTS index at lunchtime.

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