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    Prosecutors appeal court's refusal to freeze Transneft shares

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    MOSCOW, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Prosecutor General's Office has appealed the refusal by a Moscow district court to freeze shares of state-owned pipeline operator Transneft, a Moscow city court spokesman said Wednesday.

    "The Prosecutor General's Office has filed an appeal against the ruling of the Basmanny District Court within a time frame set by the law," 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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