Oil report

Russia's Gazprom to stick to policy of raising dividend payments - Putin

MOSCOW, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom will stick to its policy of raising dividends, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, as it responds to “challenges” in the global energy industry.

Gazprom is “well aware” of these challenges, he said, and has made changes to its management structure and dividend policy in response.

“All these changes are an initiative of the company’s CEO, Mr. (Alexei) Miller. In particular, his insistence on increasing the dividend,” Putin told a conference in Moscow.

“I proceed from the fact that this kind of policy will continue, and (market) capitalisation will be rising,” he added. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Anastasia Lyrchikova; writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Jan Harvey)