Analyst Alexander Fak, and Sberbank CIB head of analysis, Alexander Kudrin, have departed Sberbank after a report suggesting that state owned Russian gas giant, Gazprom, made pipeline investment decisions to benefit major contractors.
Less than a year after providing Sberbank management with a headache in the form of a Rosneft report titled ‘Rosneft: We Need to Talk About Igor’ which was scathing about debt management at Russia’s largest crude producer, May 2018 saw Fak take aim at Gazprom.
A Sberbank CIB report was released on May 8 on Russian oil and Gas, co authored by Fak and Anna Kotelnika, looked at Gazprom pipeline projects including Turkstream, Nordstream II & Power of Siberia. It suggested the major beneficiaries of Gazprom investment decisions were contractors Stroygazmontazh, connected with Russian magnate Arkady Rotenberg, and Stroytransneftegaz, connected with magnate Gennady Timchenko. As BNE Intellinews points out the two magnates are very closely connected with President Putin.
In the report Fak and highlighted that the pipeline projects will costs Gazprom $93.4bln. According to RBC the report included a statement touching upon the tender nexus of Russia’s state dominated corporate landscape and claims of corruption, particularly when it benefits known friends of President Putin.
“we find the decisions of Gazprom very clear once we assume that the company is managed in the interests of its contractors, and not for extracting commercial profits,” – Statement in Sberbank CIB report on Gazprom as reported by RBC.
Following the report, Sberbank CIB head Igor Bulantsev, confirmed Fak’s dismissal according to RBC, stating “Any documents originating from independent market analysts should be based solely on verified, verified data and information from open sources. These are the norms and internal rules of the Sberbank CIB. In our company there are strict compliance procedures, and each employee is required to comply with them, “ and adding “we are dealing with an unprofessional report, carried out with obvious violations not only of internal regulatory documents of our company, but also with violation of ethical standards.” Bulantsev concluded “Agreeing with our arguments, the author of the report agreed to leave the company on May 23.”
Fak spread news of his departure via Telegram, with a picture of his Sberbank departure message, mocking management and highlighting his availability for new employment.
According to the RBC report representatives of both Timchenko and Rottenberg denied any involvement in the dismissal of the Sberbank CIB analyst.
Later on 23 May Interfax reported that Sberbank CIB head of analysis, Alexander Kudrin, had also resigned in the wake of the report with Sberbank’s media department issuing a stament on behalf of CEO Herman Gref.
“The report of May 8 issued from our subsidiary Sberbank CIB.The report was issued in violation of the company’s internal regulations, with gross violations of ethical standards.In fact, the author made conclusions from unverified, unconfirmed data, thereby misleading the market.What is irresponsibility or conscious provocation, I can not say.However, our standards of professionalism do not allow us to tolerate such unprofessional actions, so Sberbank CIB made decisions with the author of the report and the persons who allowed the report to leave.” – Comments attributed to Interfax to Sberbank CEO Herman Gref.