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    MOSCOW ARBITRATION COURT DECLARES YUKOS SHARE ISSUE NULL

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    MOSCOW, March 1, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - On Monday, Moscow's arbitration court declared the issue of Yukos oil company extra shares null and void.

    The court, thereby, sustained the claims of former Sibneft shareholders.

    The court hearings were held behind closed doors. The court is to present the declaration to the parties within the next five days.

    Nimegan Trading Ltd and Gemini Trading Ltd had filed a claim against the Federal Securities Market Commission and Yukos oil major on the grounds that Yukos violated a series of provisions of the law on the securities market by issuing extra shares on July 22, 2003.

    The plaintiffs said the oil company had failed to submit all required documents and had not met the timeframe for submitting them.

    In 2003, Yukos merged with Sibneft and became the owner of 92% of Sibneft shares. 20% of Sibneft shares were bought for $3 billion, the other 72% of shares were exchanged for Yukos shares. However, 57.5% of Sibneft shares were swapped for newly circulated Yukos shares.

    The court's ruling declared the registration of the issue illegal, while the share issue itself null and void. The agreement on the transfer of 72% of Sibneft shares to Yukos can, therefore, be canceled.

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