CHUBAIS: RUSSIA'S UES IS UNDERESTIMATED

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MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Consolidated revenues of the Russian joint stock company United Energy Systems (Russia's UES) in 2003 under the international accounting standards, according to the preliminary information, amounted to US$19.6 billion as opposed to US$15.8 billion in 2002, said Anatoly Chubais, head of Russia's UES, at a conference held by the Renaissance Capital group on Tuesday.

Speaking of the energy holding's capitalization level, Mr. Chubais pointed out that currently it amounted to US$12 billion.

"However, we still believe that the company is underestimated", he added.

Mr. Chubais also said that the energy holding was planning to expand its activities to the CIS states, Slovakia, Romania and Poland.

"We intend to purchase assets of our neighbours in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirghizia, Moldova and a little farther in Slovakia, Romania and Poland", stated Mr. Chubais speaking at the conference.

According to him, the business should grow, and the company should expand, and all endeavors will be made to this end.

Mr. Chubais also stated that the first wholesale generating company might be sold early the next year.

According to Mr. Chubais, Russia's UES is currently expecting the government's decision, which "has been recently delayed".

"Held as early as this week will be the UES board session, which, hopefully, will put an end to this issue", said the head of the energy holding.

He pointed out that, if the decision was adopted by the board, the company would be ready to establish six main wholesale generating companies within six months.

Earlier the government's representatives said that the directive to the state's representatives in the UES board on the wholesale generating companies sales mechanism would have been developed by June 25 (the day of the energy holding's last board session before the annual shareholders' meeting). Without the government's directive the state's representatives can not vote at the session. This is the reason why no issues related to the wholesale generating companies have been discussed at the UES board sessions for a long time.

Recently Andrey Sharonov, deputy minister of economic development and trade, stated that the draft directive was ready and would soon be coordinated and submitted to the government, and discussed at the board session on June 25.

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