Bloomberg News

Putin Spokesman Denies Gazprom CEO Miller to Leave Position

January 23, 2012

(Adds Mikhelson denial in fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, denied reports of speculation that OAO Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller will leave his position and may be replaced by the billionaire shareholder and head of OAO Novatek, Leonid Mikhelson.

“This doesn’t correspond to reality,” Peskov said by phone today, when asked about the reports in the Vedomosti and Kommersant newspapers that the speculation of Miller’s departure was driving moves in the state-run company’s stock.

Gazprom shares fell 1 percent to 183.65 rubles, or the equivalent of $5.86, in Moscow today, after jumping 1.4 percent on Jan. 19. The natural gas producer’s American depositary receipts slid 2.4 percent to $11.61 by 11:46 a.m. in New York, after climbing over the previous three trading days.

Mikhelson said he’d never been offered a job at Gazprom and planned to stay at Novatek, the Interfax newswire reported the businessman as saying today.

Sergei Kupriyanov, Gazprom’s spokesman, declined to comment when contacted today by Bloomberg News and referred to Peskov’s remarks.

--With assistance from Emma O’Brien in New York. Editors: Torrey Clark, Emma O’Brien

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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