Interim dividend likely at ELPE, favorable DEFSA sale progress

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) could offer an interim dividend as a result of favorable developments concerning the privatization of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, approaching finalization, ELPE deputy chief Andreas Siamisiis noted yesterday during a teleconference held for the presentation of the corporate group’s first-half results.

ELPE expects to receive approximately 300 million euros for the sale of its 35 percent stake of DEFSA. The Greek State offered 31 percent of DESFA’s 66 percent being sold.

An all-European investment team comprising Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagás Internacional and Belgium’s Fluxys emerged as the tender’s winning bidder.

In other news emerging during the session, ELPE officials informed that outstanding debt owed by ELPE to NIOC, the state-run National Iranian Oil Company, is the equivalent of four million barrels of crude, or two tankers.

During the session, many analysts focused on ELPE’s exposure to Iranian crude supply, disrupted three months ago as a result of the resumption of US sanctions on Iran and the wider repercussions of Washington’s move.

“We received two tankers of [Iranian] crude between May and June and have fully replaced Iranian supply with orders from the Urals [Russia] and Saudi Arabia. We have zero Iranian exposure,” informed ELPE deputy chief Andreas Siamisiis.

Prior to the latest sanctions on Iran, ELPE crude orders from Iran and Iraq represented 22 percent of the company’s total, according to its annual financial report in 2017.