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    TWENTY PRIVATE OWNERS CONTROL ONE-THIRD OF SALES VOLUME IN RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 7, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI). About 35 percent of the sales volume in Russia is controlled by 20 major private owners, says the report of the World Bank submitted to journalists on Wednesday.

    According to the main economist of the World Bank's Moscow office Christof Ruhl, the Bank's experts compiled a list of major business-groups and major owners in Russia.

    All Russian private owners or groups of owners which control either the sales volume to the sum of 12 billion rubles or 19,000 workers ($1 is approximately equal to 29 rubles) belong to the category of a major business-group, Ruhl said.

    He also pointed out that a list of 23 main private Russian owners was compiled.

    "We do not call these people oligarchs since this word has a negative shade in Russia. We speak about them as major business groups," he said. "These are people who possess the controlling block of shares in several regions, are being discussed and mentioned in the press as most influential or rich assets holders in Russia, play a noticeable role in the federal policy or actively lobby their interests." The first place in the list, prepared by the staff members of the World Bank, belongs to the main shareholder of the Bazovy Element company, Oleg Deripaska and the second place - to the main shareholder of the Sibneft oil concern, Roman Abramovich.

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