Just a year ago, Russian natural gas titan Gazprom was burning through global competition on its way to becoming the world's largest corporation. Now the state-owned darling of investors worldwide is deep in debt and flirting with a government bailout. A symbol of Russia’s resurgence as a global economic power, the company has tumbled from third to 35th place in global market cap rankings, shedding 76% of its value along the way, the New York Times reports.
As the world’s largest natural gas supplier, Russia enjoyed the lift provided by surging energy prices. But aggressive re-nationalization by former-president Vladimir Putin led Gazprom to pile up debt totaling $49.5 billion, nearly matching the combined amount coming due for Brazil, India, and China in 2009. The 76% drop in value since January compares to an 18% decline at ExxonMobil.