Picture: 123RF/KANOK SULAIMAN
Picture: 123RF/KANOK SULAIMAN

Russia-focused Raven Property said it was treading with caution in the wake of an oil-price dispute between Russian and Saudi Arabia, opting to hold off on a final decision on dividends for its year to end-December.

The group owns logistics warehouses in Russia, whose economy is now under threat from the coronavirus, and slumping oil prices.

The timing and structure of distributions will be determined “at a later date when market volatility has calmed down”, CEO Glyn Hirsch said.

Raven, which has a market capitalisation of R4.6bn, has a strategy of holding logistics warehouses in Russia for long periods to produce rental income.

The group reported on Monday that net operating income rose 7% to £126.5m (about R2.59bn), describing 2019 as a good year, partially due to falling interest rates in Russia.

Oil is a major source of Russia's export earnings, and the refusal by Russia earlier in March to agree to oil production cuts has led to a decision by Saudi Arabia to increase production.

The price of Brent crude oil has more than halved so far in 2020.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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