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    Russian state electric company wants 'brand' to die after reforms

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    Russia's state-run electricity monopoly is against passing on its name to the company due to succeed it after a reform of the country's electric power sector, a Russian business daily said on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-run electricity monopoly is against passing on its name to the company due to succeed it after a reform of the country's electric power sector, a Russian business daily said on Wednesday.

    Unified Energy System of Russia (UES of Russia) shareholders voted in late October in favor of reorganizing the electricity holding to end its monopoly status. The reform is to be completed by July 1, 2008, when UES is to be liquidated. Government officials want the UES name to go to its successor, the Federal Grid Company, Kommersant said.

    "We have made an unambiguous decision that the UES 'brand' will disappear together with the company on the day the reorganization is over. The issue of 'brand' transfer was discussed, but we believe that each company created from UES assets should form its own... depending on its activities and functions," Kommersant quoted UES spokeswoman Margarita Nagoga as saying.

    Nagoga said UES will join the Federal Grid Company after July 1, but the UES successor will not be renamed.

    Russia's electric power sector has undergone radical changes in recent years. The changes have been aimed at increasing the efficiency of power plants and developing the industry by attracting investment.

    During the restructuring process, specialized structures have been created in place of the old vertically integrated companies.

    By the end of the reforms, potentially competitive units of the industry - generation, sales and repair companies - will become mainly private and will compete with each other. However, natural monopoly functions - power transmission and dispatching - will remain state-controlled.

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