WHAT DO RUSSIAN OIL AND GAS MAJORS COST? - APPRAISERS TO ANNOUNCE NEXT WEEK

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MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti) - A final appraisal of Rosneft and Gazprom assets will be made public next week, a Ministry of Economic Development and Trade functionary said to Novosti tonight.

A final coordinated evaluation is expected early next week, he specified.

Morgan Stanley, working on contract with the Federal Property Management Agency, or Rosimushchestvo, and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, which engages on a similar assignment for Gazprom, were initially expected to announce their conclusions, May 19, the ministry said on a previous occasion.

Our informant refused to quote tentative figures, even approximately.

The appraisal is part of preparations to liberalize the Gazprom stock market. The government block is to increase to control stock before quotas can be abolished for gas concern stock purchases by nonresident bidders. To achieve its goal, the government is to purchase 10.74 per cent stock from Gazprom affiliates.

The same consulting companies were previously appraising the two majors toward last year's end. Morgan Stanley then evaluated the Rosneft petroleum company within a $7-8.5 billion corridor. Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, or DrKW, came up with a more skeptical figure, slightly exceeding six billion dollars.

There were big scissors in Gazprom appraisal, as well- DrKW insisted on more than $80 billion, as against Morgan Stanley's $60-70 billion.

Rosneft assets were appraised that time before the company purchased assets of Yuganskneftegaz, Yukos' biggest petroleum production branch. Now, Rosneft is holding its 76.79 per cent stock.

DrKW was appraising Yugansk last year, on a contract with Russia's Justice Ministry, to put the assets in a $19.6-21.1 billion corridor. The appraiser eventually cut the figures to $14-17 billion with an account for Yukos fiscal arrears, on whose grounds Yugansk was auctioned off.

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