Russian state bank eyes E.ON’s stake in Gazprom

A DEAL for the sale of German utility E.ON’s stake in dominant Russian gas company Gazprom to Russian state bank VEB may be announced as early as today, a source in Russia’s energy ministry said yesterday.

“The idea is completely realistic. I think that this is what will happen, I think it will be announced in the nearest future – possibly tomorrow,” the source said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also chairman of VEB, is likely to discuss the sale of the 3.6 per cent stake – valued at $4.5bn (£2.85bn) at current market prices -- with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin today.

“The discussions are going in such a way that we will take this stake,” the source said.

A Russian newspaper said VEB would likely pay a premium for the Gazprom stake over the current market price, to support the company’s market value.