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Earnings of Rostelekom totaled 19 501,4 ml rubles and increased by 8.3% as opposed to the corresponding period in 2004. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation & amortization ( EBITDA ) increased by 5.6% and totaled 7 735,5 ml rubles. Economic efficiency accounted for 39.7% in the first half of 2005, according to the EBITDA. As a result, net profit totaled 5 661,0 ml rubles over the first six months in 2005 and increased by 28.2%, as opposed to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Sberbank of Russia On August 4, 2005, Fitch Ratings international agency upgraded the long-term credit rating for Sberbank of Russia from - to after the upgrade of the long-term foreign exchange sovereign credit rating for Russia. The rating forecast remained stable. The short-term credit rating of the bank was confirmed F3, while the support rating was 2. Fitch Ratings will consider the individual C/D rating within several weeks to come. The credit rating for priority unsecured Eurobonds of Sberbank of Russia at the value of 1 bln US dollars with maturity in 2006 was also upgraded from - to . The rating of banks subordinated debentures at the value of 1 bln US dollars with maturity in 2015 was upgraded from + to -.

RAO EES of Russia On August 12, 2005, RAO EES of Russia issued and accounting report of RAO EES of Russia Open Joint Stock Company for the first half of 2005 as prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Russian Accounting Standards ( RAS ).

Earnings from the core activity of the Joint Stock Company totaled 14,568 bln rubles in the first half of 2005, which was by 2,491 bln rubles less than the corresponding indicator of the first half of 2004, according to a profit & loss report. The cost of sold goods, products, works and services reduced by 2.9 times and totaled 1,099 bln rubles in the period under review. The reduction was caused mainly by the fact that the Joint Stock Company assigned its subsidiary Inter RAO EES to perform the functions of electric power export supply operator. Sales profit of the Joint Stock Company totaled 11,339 bln rubles in the first half of 2005, which was by 0,89 bln rubles less than the that in the corresponding period of the previous year. Net profit of the Joint Stock Company totaled 7,994 bln rubles over the first half of 2005.

Table 1.

Global Stock Market Indices Movement Changes per Changes since Data as of August 29, 2005 Value month ( % )12 year beginning (%) 876.05 44.19% 13.76% RTS ( Russia ) 10463.05 -2.48% -1.77% Dow Jones Industrial Average ( United States) 2137.65 -0.67% -1.93% NASDAQ Composite ( United States ) 1212.28 0.85% -1.73% S&P 500 ( United States ) 5228.10 7.86% -0.26% FTSE 100 ( Great Britain ) 4812.24 12.13% -0.51% DAX-30 ( Germany ) 4361.27 13.11% -1.23% CAC-40 ( France ) 6463.70 12.05% -0.44% Swiss Market ( Switzerland ) 12309.83 6.88% 5.26% Nikkei-225 ( Japan ) 27385.00 6.47% 7.85% Bovespa ( Brazil ) 14327.20 10.02% 0.06% IPC ( Mexico ) 2107.53 17.35% -2.06% IPSA ( Chili ) 2272.00 9.75% -2.04% Straits Times ( Singapore ) 1063.16 18.96% -1.03% Seoul Composite ( South Korea ) 30015.12 17.96% 2.83% ISE National-100 ( Turkey ) 602.56 11.13% 1.08% Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Free Index Foreign Exchange Market The situation in the internal foreign exchange market depended on the world forex market and world oil prices in the same way as before. The USD weakened against EUR in the world forex market early in the month. This caused the USD exchanged rate to decrease against the Russian currency.

The USD exchange rate was adversely affected in the world forex market by an IMF report stating that the UDS exchange rate still remained significantly high to be able to reduce the deficit of US current accounts. A new rise of oil prices after the demise of the king of Saudi Arabia should be highlighted among the factors effecting the RUR exchange rate in the internal foreign exchange market.

Second week: the USD exchange rate continued to decline, while the EUR exchange rate continued to grow as effected by the world foreign exchange rates during the second week of the month. Constantly growing oil prices had an adverse affect on the exchange rate and submerged an increase in the basic interest rate by 3.5% per annum.

The situation in the foreign exchange market changed since the second half of the month: the USD exchange rate started to grow, while the EUR exchange rate began to drop. Again, the changes in trends in the local foreign exchange market in the first half of the month were caused by the changes in the world forex market showing a growth in the demand for US assets with subsequent increase in USD exchange rate due to favorable growth outlooks for the US economy and interest rates. Favorable situation with ruble liquidity also can be considered an internal factor of the USD strengthening. At the end of the month, the RUR exchange rate grew against the USD and declined against the EUR as effected by the movements in the world forex market. The changes in the worldwide trend were caused by positive statistics on EU countries and negative one on United States. A new rise of oil prices, which reached $70 per barrel in New-York, exerted an additional pressure upon the USD exchange rate.

As compared to the levels of July 22.

Figure 7.

Dynamics of the Official USD/RUR and EUR/RUR Exchange Rates in 2004-40.39.Official USD/RUR exchange rate 38.Official EUR/RUR exchange rate 37.36.35.34.33.32.31.30.29.28.27.Figure 8.

Dynamics of the Dollar/Euro Exchange Rate on the International Markets 1.1.1.1.1.1.The USD exchange rate declined by 0.16 rubles (-0.55%) to reach 28.44 rubles per US dollar in the period between August 2 and 30. Total volume of trading on USD in the SELT electronic trading system totaled nearly $31.6 bln US dollars. with the average daily turnover of $1.57 bln US dollars.

( $25.89 bln US dollars. with the average daily turnover of $1.62 bln US dollars within the first roubles 01.07.16.07.31.07.15.08.30.08.14.09.29.09.14.10.29.10.13.11.28.11.13.12.28.12.12.01.27.01.11.02.26.02.13.03.28.03.12.04.27.04.12.05.27.05.11.06.26.06.11.07.26.07.10.08.25.08.USD/EURO 01.07.31.07.30.08.29.09.29.10.28.11.28.12.27.01.26.02.28.03.27.04.27.05.26.06.26.07.25.08.three weeks in July 2005 ). Maximum volume of trading on USD over the foregoing period was recorded at nearly $2.32 bln US dollars on August 25, minimal was $1.06 bln US dollars on August 1.

Ruble liquidity in the Russian banking sector slightly increased in August as compared to the corresponding figures in July: balances on corresponding accounts of credit organizations with the Bank of Russia averaged nearly 273.9 bln rubles in August against 253.5 bln rubles in July.

In the period between August 1 and 30, the Euro exchange rate increased by dropped by $0.(0.87%) up to 1.223 US dollars per Euro in the world market.. The similar situation was observed in relation to the EUR/RUR exchange rate. The EUR/RUR exchange rate increased by 0.25 rubles (0.71% ) from 34.82 to 34.80 rubles per Euro In the period between August 2 and 30. Total volume of trading on the Euro in the SELT electronic trading system totaled nearly 295.94 ml EUR with the average daily turnover of 14.79 ml EUR in the period between August 1 and 26 ( about 162.97 ml EUR with the average daily turnover of 10.19 ml EUR within the first three weeks in July 2005 ). In August, these figures exceeded considerably the similar parameter in July. Maximum volume of trading on the Euro over the same period totaled at the level of 34.21 ml EUR on August 25, while the minimum was 7.08 ml EUR on August 10.

Table 2.

Financial Markets Indicators Month August September October November December* monthly inflation 0.4% 0.4% 1.1% 1.1% 1.2% Potential annual inflation on the bases of the current 4.91% 4.91% 14.03% 14.03% 15.4% month trend The RF Central Banks refinance rate 13% 13% 13% 13% 13% Average yield to maturity of OFZ ( as % per year) 6.64% 7.13% 6.15% 7.97% 7.2% by all issues GKO-OFZ market turnover per month ( bln rubles) 20.61 33.59 30.57 18.07 35.yield to maturity of Minfin Bonds at the end of the month ( as % per year ):

5 tranche 5.87% 5.84% 5.28% 5.35% 5.0% 6 tranche 4.25% 4.25% 3.80% 3.93% 4.2% 7 tranche 6.90% 6.86% 6.27% 6.38% 5.9% 8 tranche 4.87% 4.76% 4.28% 4.46% 4.5% yield to maturity of Eurobonds at the end of the month ( as % per year ):

2005 3.92% 5.14% 6.26% 8.43% 10.0% 2007 5.30% 5.86% 5.39% 6.33% 6.4% 2010 6.76% 7.01% 6.66% 7.03% 7.0% 2018 7.60% 7.61% 7.21% 7.35% 7.1% 2028 8.22% 8.20% 7.83% 7.86% 7.6% 2030 7.23% 7.24% 6.84% 6.93% 6.6% -MIACR one-day loan rate ( as % per year at 9.86% 3.13% 2.93% 1.26% 1.0% the end of the month ) official RUR/USD exchange rate at the end of the 29.2447 29.2171 28.7655 28.2367 27.month ( RUR/USD ) official RUR/EUR exchange rate at the end of the 35.1463 35.9896 36.6472 37.4165 37.month ( RUR/EUR ) incremental growth in official RUR/USD exchange 0.49% -0.09% -1.55% -1.84% -1.5% rate per month ( % ) incremental growth in official RUR/EUR exchange 0.27% 2.40% 1.83% 2.10% 0.8% rate per month ( % ) RTS stock market turnover per month ( ml US 277.15 262.27 470.87 351.53 dollars by stock included into the list of stocks for the RTS index calculation ) RTS -1 index value at the end of the month 584.65 635.57 663.67 633.34 Changes in the RTS -1 index per month ( % ) 8.21% 8.71% 4.42% -4.57% -3.5% * Estimate D. Polevoi Efficiency of Banking Transactions in Quarter I of The return on assets (ROA) value averaged 2.8% in annual figures for active banks ( Sberbank is not included ) over Quarter I of 200413. This slightly below the total for 2004 ( 3% ), but corresponds to the figures in 2003.

Several tendencies that effected the Russian banking sector in 2004 remained the same. Russian banks show a fairly low differentiation of the ROA by asset-size group. The crisis events of 2004 had a specific impact on a spread of ROA values. Profitability of small banks transactions increased as it did in the period of the large-scale banking crisis in 1998. As Figure 1 suggests, the smallest banks were loss-making in 200314. However, the same banks could recover their profitability as early as the first half of 2004 ( group 6, Figure 2 ) ( the ROA accounted for 2.5% in annual figures ). This group remained profitable in Quarter I of 2005 ( the ROA accounted for 2.6% in that period).

% -1 2 3 4 5 Groups categorized by size of assets as of 1.01.1 - banks ranked between 1 and 2 - banks ranked between 11 and 3 - banks ranked between 51 and 4 - banks ranked between 101 and 5 - banks ranked between 201 and 6 - banks ranked between 501 and Note: Herein and hereinafter the groups are categorized by size of assets at period end, and average assets are used for calculation The calculations were made on the basis of the data provided by STIik Company Figure 1. ROA in Groups Categorized by Size of Assets ( Sberbank RF is not included ) in Herein and hereinafter the relative earning indicators over the period are represented by an average size of assets over the period. Group indicators were calculated as weighted average values.

The banks are ranked by groups categorized by size of assets as of certain date. Group 1 includes 10 largest banks ( neither Sberbank RF nor Vneshekonombank are included ), Group 2 includes 40 banks following Group 1 down the list, Group 3 includes 50 banks following Group 2 down the list, Group 4 includes 100 banks following Group 3 down the list, Group 5 includes 300 banks following Group 4 down the list, and Group includes other (the smallest) banks.

% -1 2 3 4 5 Groups categorized by size of assets as of 1.07.1 - banks ranked between 1 and 2 - banks ranked between 11 and 3 - banks ranked between 51 and 4 - banks ranked between 101 and 5 - banks ranked between 201 and 6 - banks ranked between 501 and The calculations were made on the basis of the data provided by STIik Company Figure 2. ROA in Groups Categorized by Size of Assets in Annual Figures Over the First Half of 2004 ( Sberbank RF is not included ) % -1 2 3 4 5 Groups categorized by size of assets as of 1.04.1 - banks ranked between 1 and 2 - banks ranked between 11 and 3 - banks ranked between 51 and 4 - banks ranked between 101 and 5 - banks ranked between 201 and 6 - banks ranked between 501 and The calculations were made on the basis of the data provided by STIik Company Figure 3. ROA in Groups Categorized by Size of Assets in Annual Figures in Quarter 1 of 2005 ( Sberbank RF is not included ) In addition, Group 1 ( the largest banks ) shows a comparatively high ROA value (Group 1, Figures 1- 3 ). Though the average value of Group 1 accounted for 2.4% in 2003, the average value of profitability of banking transactions even slightly increased in Quarter 2 of 2004 ( up to 2.7% ). This value grew further to account for 3.1% in Quarter 1 of 2005 thus exceeding the average value, although the group of the largest banks ( Sberbank RF is not included ) quite often demonstrated the lowest ROA value ( for instance, in 1998, 1999 and 2001 ).

The profit-to-capital values are more substantially differentiated ( the ROE value ). Since mediumsize and small banks generally show higher capital-base-to-assets ratio than large banks, the ROE values range from 29 to 9%, while the ROA values are close ( Figure. 4 ). Though, as indicated by the Diagram, the group of banks ranked 11 to 50 by size of assets shows a lower ROA value, it also falls behind the nearby groups by ROE value.

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