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    AUTHORITIES BOLSTER EXORBITANT REAL ESTATE PRICES IN MOSCOW

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    MOSCOW, March 12, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Igor Artemyev, chief of the Federal Anti-trust Service (FAS), urged for a more transparent procedure of allotting land plots for housing construction when he addressed reporters on Friday.

    "The disparity between the cost of one square metre of housing and its market value, the exorbitant housing market in Moscow prove that certain construction companies have right connections in the Moscow government, and they all seek to retain high, monopolistic prices of housing," said Mr Artemyev.

    The FAC chief urged to ensure fair tenders among investors, construction and contractor companies.

    Moreover, Mr Artemyev believes the procedure of allotting land plots for housing should be more transparent, while control over relative government officials should be toughened.

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