RTS to suspend trading in Yukos shares

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MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Trading System, the country's main stock exchange, said Tuesday it would suspend trading in shares of bankrupt oil company Yukos [RTS: YUKO] on its Classic and exchange-traded markets as of September 20.

The Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) said it would also suspend trading in Yukos shares as of Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, a Moscow arbitration court of appeal upheld an August 1 court ruling declaring the oil company bankrupt.

Lawyers acting for Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, had appealed against the August 1 ruling of the Moscow Arbitration Court, which came after three years of litigation with tax authorities over the company's tax arrears. Eduard Rebgun, formerly the Yukos temporary manager, was appointed the bankruptcy receiver.

Yukos, whose founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving an eight-year prison term in Siberia after being convicted for fraud in May 2005, faces a total of $16.6 billion in claims from creditors, including its former core production unit Yuganskneftegaz ($4.07 bln), which is now owned by state-controlled oil company Rosneft; the Federal Tax Service ($11.6 bln); Rosneft itself ($482 mln); and more than 20 other companies.

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