Russian economic diversification: The oil and gas sector accounted for 98% of all the profits made by Russia’s largest firms last year, according to a study of the country’s 500 biggest companies compiled by the RBC new agency.
The results highlight the price that Russia is paying for its failure to diversify its economy away from the energy sector.While the country enjoyed annual growth rates of around 7% while oil prices rose during the 2000s, their recent collapse has precipitated a deep recession and has forced the government to sharply curb spending.
The combined revenues of the top 500 equated to 77% percent of the country’s entire economic output, but their debt now stands at around $283bn – slightly more than last year’s entire federal budget for that year.
The study ranked Russia’s top five companies as:
- Gazprom, which accounted for some 8%of GDP, with a turnover of $143bn at 2014 exchange rates
- Lukoil ($122b, 6.6%)
- Rosneft ($96bn, 5.2%)
- Sbernank ($56bn, 3%)
- Russian Railways ($47bn,2.6%)
The single most profitable company in the new rating was the privately owned Surgutneftegaz whose fortunes are built around the enormous energy deposits it discovered at Surgut in western Siberia.