New Russian investment attractiveness index launched

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MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) - RIA Novosti and the Press Release Group launched Thursday a new indicator of the attractiveness of Russian companies on foreign markets, RUXX.

"Russian Industrial Leaders Index (RUXX) is a composite index of Russian companies trading on global exchanges. It is calculated in U.S. dollars starting January 1st, 2006 and is available from all major data vendors as of February 1st, 2006. The index growth for the first month was 15.946%, from 500 to 579.73 points. The DJIA [Dow Jones Industrial Average] growth was only 1.371% for the same period," a joint news release said.

"RUXX is a capital-weighted Index. The higher is the free-float market capitalization of the company, the higher is its respective weight in the Index. However, a 20% weight cap factor is applied to the Index constituents. Usually, changes in the market capitalization and weights are implemented during quarterly review of the Index.

"The Index is computed using the last sale price for the trading day (5.30PM New York time). Its constituents include Russian companies whose depositary receipts are listed on global exchanges: (New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, AMEX) The Index value is published daily at 5.55PM New York time in the Dow Jones ITC 2.1 data feed and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). It is available via data vendor networks such as Reuters, Bloomberg and others," the news release said.

As of January 1, 2006, the index comprised 12 companies: Tatneft, MTS, Rostelecom, VimpelCom, Wimm-Bill-Dann, Mechel, Rambler Media Group, Gazprom, LUKoil, Novatek, AFK Sistema and Golden Telecom.

"The RUXX Index was commenced by Press Release Group, a New York-based communications company, and the Russian News and Information Agency RIA Novosti. The RUXX Index is calculated and disseminated by Dow Jones & Company. The Index is a unique indicator of demand for Russian companies from foreign investors, both institutional and private. It is also an international benchmark tracking the rate of trust of western financial community into the Russian economy," the news release said.

Dmitry Surkov, a RIA Novosti deputy general director, said: "We think that there are clear prerequisites for the Index, created by joint efforts of three companies, to become an essential tool for foreign investors. We believe this is a perfect time for the Index to appear because many Russian companies are planning to list part of their shares on foreign exchanges over the next two years. The participation of Dow Jones will ensure that the Index becomes one of the leading indicators of demand for Russian issuers."

Ilya Merenzon, the general director of the Press Release Group (U.S.): "The RUXX Index is going to fill an important information gap and become an indispensable tool for international market players. Using the Index, the global financial media will track investors' confidence in the Russian economy as well as emerging markets' economies in general; traders and analysts will use it as a financial indicator. Finally, politicians and economists will be able to gauge the attractiveness of the Russian economy and of the attitude of private investors towards changes in Russia. It will become possible, for example, to track the reaction of western investors to government actions or to the changes in the political or social situation."

Press Release Group is a think tank performing strategic communications and market research in Russia, the U.S. and Europe. It was established in 2001. Research and findings performed in the field of international economic indicators have become a major source of information about Russia in the United States. The company's findings are quoted by leading media such as The New York Times, New York Daily News, Reuters and others. The company's headquarters are in New York.

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