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Moscow City Court to hear Transneft appeal in September

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MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court will consider September 13 the Prosecutor General's Office appeal against a Moscow district court's refusal to freeze shares of state-owned pipeline operator Transneft, a court spokesman said Thursday.

The office filed an appeal against the ruling of the Basmanny District Court Wednesday.

"In its appeal, the Prosecutor General's Office has asked that the Basmanny Court ruling be declared null and void," Anna Usacheva said.

The court's decision to unfreeze Transneft preferred shares came into effect Tuesday, and the securities, totaling over $4 billion on the Russian Trading System stock exchange this year, can now return to the market.

On May 5, the court ordered the company's shares frozen after the Prosecutor General's Office launched a probe into the illegal privatization of shares and abuse of office. It said the shares had been unlawfully distributed among various companies, and were later discovered at Registrator ROST, one of Russia's largest companies that services share registers.

The ruling led two major Moscow markets to suspend trading in Transneft preferred shares, driving them down 7-8% on stock exchanges.

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