Petrom dividend halt cuts Proprietatea Fund H1 profit to half

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Proprietatea Fund (PF) closed the first half of 2009 with a net profit of 167.8 million lei (40 million euros), down 46.7 pct from the results reported in the same period of the previous year.

Proprietatea Fund H1 revenues stood at 188.6 million lei, almost 44 pct less compared to the first half of 2008.
The cut in revenues was mainly the effect of lower dividend inflows, given that Petrom, the largest company in the Fund’s portfolio, did not distribute dividends for the 2008 tax year, reports daily Ziarul financiar.

Thus, PF revenues from revenues in H1 stood at 117.6 million lei, substantially lower than the 293 million lei reported in the first half of 2008.
The Fund holds stakes in all major energy companies, including Petrom, Transgaz and Transelectrica.

Interests were a major income source, with the Fund having more than one billion lei (250 million euro) placed in bank deposits at the end of June. Revenues from interests amounted to 61.4 million lei, almost three times more than in the first half of 2008.

Revenues from dividends stand at 104 pct of the all-year budgeted figure and interest incomes account for approximately 45 pct of the year-end projection, said PF representatives.

The weighted average yield for leu-denominated instruments stood around 17.4 pct in H1 2009, while the yield for euro-denominated instruments was about 6 pct.

The Fund keeps its cash with 10 commercial banks in Romania; deposits in lei account for 82 pct of the figure and euros make the rest.
According to PF representatives, no further adjustments were made for the stake depreciation and an assessment will be made at the close of the 2009 tax year.

Thus, except for the sale of its Petrom Aviation shares, PF maintained its stock portfolio unchanged, with a net book value of 9.41 billion lei (2.23 billion euros).

PF is controlled by the Ministry of Public Finance (MFP) that holds almost 66 pct of its capital, whereas the rest is held by over 2,400 individuals and legal entities.

Proprietatea Fund was established in a bid to compensate former property owners abusively dispossessed during the communist regime (1945-1989) and for whom a restitution in kind is no longer possible.

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