YUKOS, RAO UES DRIVE RUSSIAN STOCK MARKET

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MOSCOW, October 5. (RIA Novosti) - On Monday, October 4, the growth of RAO UES and Yukos determined the positive dynamics of the Russian stock market.

RAO UES of Russia grew on the results of the Friday session of its board, which decided to create pilot wholesale generating company No.3 before September 2005. The news that Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein had finished appraisal of Yukos's main production unit, Yuganskneftegaz, as well as Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin's statement that the oil major's assets would be sold at a competitive and commercial basis gave a signal to buyers of Yukos's shares.

Due to panic buying, trading in the beleaguered company's shares on the MICEX was suspended for two times during the day.

By 6.00 p.m. Moscow time Yukos's shares gained 15.78 percent in the RTS and 13.58 percent on the MICEX.

RAO UES grew by 4.44 per cent and 3.68 per cent respectively.

RAO UES became a definite leader in the volume of trading - over $15 million in the RTS (almost half of Monday's trading) and 8.4 billion roubles on the MICEX stock market ($1 equals approximately 29.22 roubles).

The trading volume in Yukos's shares amounted to $1.8 million in the RTS and to 1.223 billion roubles on the MICEX.

Tatneft and Mosenergo also registered a confident growth, gaining 4.29 per cent and 6.67 per cent in the RTS, respectively.

Other blue chips in the RTS were up by 1-2 per cent, except for Norilsk Nickel, which lost 1.06 per cent in the RTS and 1.16 per cent on the MICEX.

As a result, the RTS index as of 6.00 p.m. was up by 2.31 per cent. It registered 311 transactions worth $33.4 milllion.

Alexei Logvin, analyst with the Interfintreid financial company, points out that the growing demand for energy companies has become a sustainable trend. "Stocks of RAO UES and AO-energo may again become the most attractive for speculators as was the case about one and a half years ago," he believes.

According to Anatoly Kaplin of the Aton investment group, Yukos's growth was rather speculative. "Speculators expect Yuganskneftegaz to be sold at a market price," he said. "But the Natural Resources Ministry can make the next move, by revoking Yuganskneftegaz's license".

Gazprom looked quite modest on Monday, gaining just 0.08 per cent. Kaplin explains the dynamics by publications in the press, which "on the one hand show a conflict between the management of the two companies [Rosneft and Gazprom], and on the other hand the expected extension of the merger process till the middle of 2005 instead of the earlier expected completion by the end of this year."

Analyzing the developments around Yukos in the recent weeks, Logvin predicts that "in the near future the authorities are unlikely to resort to any decisive measures against the company," and the break before the end of the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev trial will give the market an opportunity to grow significantly.

Kaplin is more optimistic about the Russian stock market's outlook. "We are approaching the balance point of 660-670 points in the RTS, which will become the first landmark for investors," he said. Powerful drivers of the market are liberalization of Gazprom's shares, significant progress with the power industry reform, the newly announced plans to reform Svyazinvest, the expert believes. Besides, excessive liquidity at the beginning of the month also provides support for the stocks, he added.

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