We've discussed BP in Russia many times, wondering if they know what they are doing. We're not the only ones this morning: the Telegraph, whilst airing a view that the shareholders will enjoy the dividend, also carries a more cautionary piece - and quite right, too.
In the context of stories surrounding another Russian energy giant, I've often pointed out that Gazprom never pays cash for anything. It's always an "asset swap". And why wouldn't they, being replete with the traditional Russian asset - land under their complete control - and no end of western suckers, always ready to kid themselves that a % of a chunk of said wasteland is worthy of a place on their balance-sheets.
Russian equity has many of the same characteristics: de facto control is everything. Russians don't know what equity means. Kto kvo?, as the saying has it - who rules ? It ain't the shareholders.