Gazprom is the world's most profitable company according to the July Fortune Global 500 list. It ranks 50th in revenues.
I have friends experienced of Russia who believe Gaz will become the world's #1 largest market capitalization within five years. It got as high as #3 in Q3 2008.
From the Streetwise Professor:
Several Gazprom related stories, with a common (and all too familiar theme): the company’s rather unconventional ways of trying to win friends and influence people. Unconventional, except for the Mafia, perhaps.
First, Mr. Charming, Oleg Sechin, went to Turkmenistan along with Medvedev, and went on at length as to how Ashgabat should run its gas business. Don’t ship gas to Europe. Don’t ship it to China. Ship it across Afghanistan (!) to Pakistan and India. Oh, and by the way, if you “choose” the latter alternative, of course Gazprom is willing to “help” in whatever way it can...MOREViktor Chernomyrdin, former head of Gazprom had a different, more communist approach to business:
"We meant to do better, but it came out as always"UPDATE: Viktor is Dead. From FP's Passport blog, Nov. 4, 2010:
Russia's Yogi Berra
Former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 72. Best known in the West for co-chairing the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission on nuclear safety, which largely failed in its goal of promoting bilateral cooperation between Washington and Moscow, Chernomyrdin presided over an extremely turbulent period of Russian history, including the controversial privatizations of the mid-1990s and the First Chechen War....
...Chernomyrdin is survived by ("approximately") two sons and a wealth of unforgettable lines. Here are a few of the best:
On economic reform: "We wanted better, but it turned out as always."
On his background on energy minister: "I have grown up in the atmosphere of oil and gas."
On dealing with the frequently uncooperative Duma: "Government is not the organ in which one uses his tongue only."
On Russia's unstable party system: "Whatever party we establish, it always turns out to be the Soviet Communist Party."
On his critics: "If your hands are itchy, scratch yourselves in other spots."
On the future: "We will live so well that our children and grandchildren will envy us!"
On Ukraine's Orange Revolution: "American ears are sticking out everywhere."
On his family: "I have approximately two sons."
On political efficiency: "We accomplished all items: from A to B."
On women: "You can't scare a woman with high-heeled shoes."
On language: I can talk to anyone in any language, but I try not to use that instrument."
On the life of the mind: "I am far from thought."...
I liked that "...turned out as always" line and apparently other folks did too, the first three hits on a Google search turn up the three times I used it.