ECONOMY

Gazprom bolsters position for DEPA bid

OAO Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural gas company, is weighing a second sale of euro-denominated bonds in eight months as falling yields bolster its bid for Greece’s national gas producer.

Gazprom planned meetings in Munich and Paris after hiring Credit Agricole SA, OAO Gazprombank and JPMorgan Chase & Co to organize a possible sale, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

The company is among five groups bidding for Greece’s national gas company DEPA, with binding offers due by April 12. Its CEO Alexey Miller will have talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday in Athens.

Gazprom, which supplies about a quarter of the European market with gas, offers investors 42 basis points of extra yield compared with euro notes of Italy’s ENI SpA, rated one level higher at A3 at Moody’s Investors Service.

“Gazprom pays yields that are still offering decent pickup versus comparable, high-grade European companies,” Sergey Dergachev, a senior portfolio manager at Union Investment Privatfonds in Frankfurt, said by e-mail on March 6. “If well-known names from the emerging market area come with a euro bond it will be well placed.” [Bloomberg]