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Toward the months end, no significant changes were visible on the share market. The market was growing and reached its yet another historic high in respect to the RTS and MICEX indices. Growth continued due to the improving situation on the international stock markets, as well as the strengthening of the rouble /USD exchange ratio. An important event for the share marker as a whole was the onset of trading in the Gazproms shares on the MICEX and the RTS. Corporate news was also beneficial. Thus, the LUKoil announced the doscovery of a new deposit in the North Caspian region, the acquisition of a controlling bloc of shares in the Primorieneftegas, as well as the possibility of buying-out the companys shares on the market in the nearest future.

FIGURE 3.

100 1 400.The total volume of trading ($) 90 1 300.The RTS Index 80 1 200.70 1 100.60 1 000.50 900.40 800.30 700.20 600.10 500.400.On the whole, during the period between 30 December 2005 through 31 January 2006, the RTS index grew by 16.91%, or to 1315.96 points, which in absolute terms amounts to 190.36. In the same period, the turnover volume in respect of the shares incorporated in the RTS index was about $ 1.million, the average daily turnover being at the level of $ 68.45 million (against $ 600 million, with the average daily turnover at the level of $ 35.2 million during the first three weeks in December). It should be noted that this substantial growth in trade volume was due not only to the increased market activity and liquidity, but also to the access to the classical RTS market having been granted to the shares issued by RAO Gazprom. The indices of maximum and minimum turnovers in the trade system in January were $ 106.5 million (on 12 January) and $ 34.81 million (on 23 January), respectively.

Judging by the months results (from 30 December 2005 through 31 January 2006), the rates of the majority of blue chips were steadily rising. The leaders in terms of price growth in January were the shares of the GMK Norilskii Nikel (Nornikel), the Tatneft, the LUKoil and the Surgutneftegas, whose rates during the month went up by as high as 42.67%, 29.97%, 28.91% and 29.97%, points mln US dollars s 01.12.20.12.13.01.31.01.16.02.05.03.24.03.11.04.27.04.17.05.02.06.21.06.07.07.25.07.10.08.26.08.13.09.29.09.17.10.02.11.21.11.07.12.23.12.18.01.respectively. Somewhat lower growth rates were demonstrated by the shares of the Sibneft (19.4%), the RAO UES Russia (15.8%), and the Sberbank of Russia (14.62%). At the bottom of the list of shares whose prices went up in January are the shares of the Mosenergo, with their price growth of 4.29%. Negative growth, according to the months results, was demonstrated by the shares of the Rostelekom (-4.86%), the Gazprom (-7.76%) and Yukos (-12.04%).

FIGURE 4.

Dynamics of the Russian Blue Chips from December 30, 2005 to January 31, 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% -10.0% -20.0% Change in price (%) In January, the list of leaders in the RTS turnover5 was as follows: the Gazprom (37.34%), the RAO UES Russia (14.12%), the LUKoil (12,21%), the Sberbank of Russia (7.51%). Thus, the aggregate share turnover of these issuers amounted to about 77.16%.

As of 31 January, the five leaders in terms of capitalization on the domestic share market were as follows6: the Gazprom - $184.72 billion, the LUKoil $65.99 billion, the Surgutneftegas $49.78 billion, the RF Sberbank $28.6 billion, the Sibneft $21.09 billion.

The futures market. In January, the investors activity on the RTS futures market (FORTS) became markedly higher, as compared to the December indices. Thus, during the period from 10 through January, the aggregate turnover of the RTS futures and options market amounted to approximately 104.04 billion roubles (188.94 thousand transactions, 4.41 million contracts), against 83.55 billion roubles (164.26 thousand transactions, 4.57 million contracts) in the first three weeks in December.

The highest demand displayed by the market participants was, as before, for futures: the volume of trade in futures during the period under consideration amounted to 94.41 billion roubles (180.27 thousand transactions and 3.91 million contracts). Options were in much lesser demand the volume of trade in them amounted to approximately 9.63 billion roubles (8.67 thousand transactions and 491.thousand contracts). The peak trade volume on the futures market was 9.4 billion roubles (on 30 January), while the lowest trade volume amounted to 3.13 billion roubles on 10 January.

The corporate bonds market.

The situation on the market of corporate and regional bonds in January remained almost entirely unchanged. Early in the year, the market demonstrated robust growth in tradable instruments, due to the changes on the Russian currency market which were favorable to the ropuble, as well as to the On the classical share market.

According to the RTS data.

Ukos Tatneft Sibneft GMK LUKoil Russia Gazprom Russia NorNikel RAO UES Mosenergo Rostelekom Sberbank of Surgutneftegas considerably improved money liquidity. The rising demand displayed by foreign investors can also be explained by the expectation of further strengthening of the roubles exchange rate. The mid-month period was marked by negative adjustments in respect to a number of securities, after their previous dramatic growth, which was also due to the setting of fixed profit rate by the participants after the raising of the Gazproms rating by the S&Ps agency. Any further fall in the prices of securities was precluded by the high liquidity in the banking sector and the ongoing strengthening of the rouble/USD exchange rate, against the background of a lull on the primary market. At the same time, the prices continued to gradually decline until the end of January, in face of worsening liquidity in the banking sector. The only market-supporting factor was, as before, the increasing rouble/USD exchange rate.

An additional downward pressure on prices was produced by primary placements, in particular by the placement of the bonds of the OJSC PZhD in the amount of 10 billion roubles.

Between 10 and 31 January, the price index of the corporate bonds tradable on the MICEX7 went up by 0.03 points (0.02%), whereas the index of the ten most liquid bonds of the corporate sector grew by 0.08 points (0.07%). During the period under consideration, the aggregate turnover in the corporate bonds section of the MICEX amounted to 14.27 billion roubles, with the average daily turnover being at the level of 1.02 billion roubles (as compared to approximately 11.57 billion roubles, with the average daily turnover of 680.85 million roubles, in the first three weeks in December). Thus, the trade turnover of Russian corporate bonds showed marked growth, as compared to the December indices.

FIGURE Dynamics of corporate bond indices 122.ZETBI-Corp ZETBI-Corp120.118.116.114.112.110.108.106.104.The external factors influencing the changes on the Russian stock market.

The situation on the international oil market throughout January also remained favorable enough. In the months first half the dynamics of prices was determined solely by political factors, resulting from which the prices reached their historic highs since last summer.

In particular, an important factor was the exacerbation of the situation in Iran, where it was decided that the activities aimed at nuclear fuel enrichment should be continued. The aggravated situation associated with oil extraction in Nigeria was another factor contributing to price growth. The market This was calculated on the basis of the indices of the corporate bonds tradable on the MICEX, generated by the Zenit Bank.

01.12.20.12.13.01.31.01.16.02.05.03.24.03.11.04.27.04.17.05.02.06.21.06.07.07.25.07.10.08.26.08.13.09.29.09.17.10.02.11.21.11.07.12.26.12.20.01.demonstrated almost no response to the warming weather and increasing reserves of oil and oil products in the USA.

Later on, the torrent of news from the Near East became less intense, which enabled investors to pay more attention to the report issued by the EIA and API and stating that the situation as regards fuel reserves in the USA was sufficiently optimistic. This produced a certain decline in prices, also contributed to by Saudi Arabias declaration as to its readiness to increase the supplies of raw materials to the market, should it become necessary.

The situation on the international stock markets in January was, as before, rather favorable (see Table 1). The basic stock indices in the majority of developed and developing countries demonstrated an upward trend.

The years beginning was marked by stable growth of the markets in the largest developed countries. Thus, during the first week, the DJIA index went up by as much as 2.3%, while the value of the German DAX increased by 1.4%. Investor activity became higher as compared to late 2005, which saw low turnovers because of Christmas holidays. However, by mid-month the situation on the stock markets of developed countries had changed. Thus, the fall on the US share market was produced by the low financial results of corporate activity in Quarter IV of 2005. The scandal involving one of the Internet services providers in Japan, which had presented erroneous information in its financial reports, resulted in a collapse of the Japanese stock market. In late January the US market once again began to grow, as did the European markets (DJIA went up by 2.2%, DAX by 5.6%). The growth on the US market was induced by the publication of favorable macroeconomic statistical data, despite the certain worsening of inflation indices.

FIGURE 6.

220% Dow Jones Industrial Average NASDAQ Composite 200% The RTS Index 180% 160% 140% 120% 100% 80% Corporate news Open-End Joint-Stock Company LUKoil On 13 January, the company published its consolidated financial report for the first 9 months of the year 2005, prepared in accordance with the uniform accounting principles (US GAAP). Thus, during the first 9 months of 2005, the companys net profit amounted to $ 4,801 million, or by 55.1% more than that achieved in the same period of last year. At the same time, the companys tax payments were in excess of $ 13 billion, or by almost 85% higher than in the same period of last year. The ratio of all the taxes deducted in the RF (including the tax on the extraction of mineral resources, duties, excises, 30.11.21.12.11.01.01.02.22.02.14.03.04.04.25.04.14.05.03.06.24.06.15.07.05.08.26.08.16.09.07.10.28.10.18.11.09.12.30.12.23.01.etc.) to the proceeds of sales received by the Russian companies belonging to the LUKoil group amounted to 50.3% during the first 9 months of 2005.

The growth in net profit was associated with favorable prices and control over expenditures. At the same time, profit growth was being held down by growing tax burden, the roubles strengthening in respect to the USD, and growing transport costs. The EBITDA index (profit before the deduction of interest, the profits tax, and depreciation) amounted to $ 7,657 million, which is by 46.7% higher than the index value achieved in the same period of last year. The proceeds of sales went up to $ 40,238 in the same period of last year, having increased by 66.2%.

On 25 January, the company announced the discovery of a large multihorizon oil-gas condensate field in the licensed zone Severnyi in the northern part of the Caspian Sea. The field was discovered by the first prospecting bore-hole in the Iuzhno-Rakushechnaia structure, 220 km from Astrakhan.

The reserves of the new deposit, as assessed by the probable and possible categories, may amount to 600 million barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion feet3 of gas. Further exploration, preparation and approval of project documentation for the development and construction in the field will make it possible to categorize these reserves as confirmed.

Table 1. Behavior of world stock exchange indices Change in month Change from Data as of 31 January 2006 Index value (%)8 years beginning (%) RTS (Russia) 1315.96 10.55% 10.55% 10864.36 0.16% 0.16% Dow Jones Industrial Average (USA) 2305.82 2.77% 2.77% NASDAQ Composite (USA) 1280.08 0.89% 0.89% S&P 500 (USA) 5760.30 1.39% 1.39% FTSE 100 (UK) 5674.15 4.11% 4.11% DAX-30 (Germany) 4947.99 4.06% 4.06% CAC-40 (France) 7810.90 2.39% 2.39% Swiss Market (Switzerland) 16649.82 1.76% 1.76% Nikkei-225 (Japan) 38383.00 14.55% 14.55% Bovespa (Brazil) 18907.10 5.47% 5.47% IPC (Mexico) 2118.46 9.22% 9.22% IPSA (Chile) 2412.08 1.80% 1.80% Straits Times (Singapore) 1399.83 0.76% 0.76% Seoul Composite (South Korea) 44590.22 12.06% 12.06% ISE National-100 (Turkey) 783.77 10.86% 10.86% Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Free Index Open-End Joint-Stock Company Gazprom On 30 January 2006, the Open-End Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) Gazprom submitted its nonaudited consolidated intermediate shorter financial report for the first nine months of the year 2005, prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standard 34 Intermediate Financial Reporting. In the first nine months of 2005, the proceeds of sales (less the excise, VAT and customs duties) increased by 218,905 million roubles, or by 32%, as compared to the same period of the year 2004, and amounted to 902,235 million roubles. During the same period of 2005, the operating expenses, as compared to the same period of 2004, went up by 90,600 million roubles, or by 18 %, and amounted to 587,338 million roubles. The items, whose growth was mainly responsible for the increased total operating expenses, were: Taxes, except the profits tax, Costs of repairs and mainte In respect to the levels as of 28 October.

nance, Depreciation, Purchased gas. As a result, the amount of profit in the period relating to the shareholders of the OJSC Gazprom in the first nine months of 2005 was 232,130 million roubles, which is by 92,747 million roubles, or by 67 %, higher than that received in the same period of 2004.

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