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Totally, the price of non-food products increased slower as compared to the previous year. From January till August 2004, the price growth accounted for 4.6% ( 0.5% against the previous month ).

This tendency was noted within all subgroups of non-food products, except for gas. The growth in consumer prices of gas was 1.9% in August, while it was 19.5% as compared to December 2003 ( 1.2% and 10.4% respectively in 2003 ).

Basic inflation4 grew by 5.8% since the beginning of the year ( 6.2% in the comparable period of 2003 ). Basic inflation of the current year is nearly at the same level as that of the previous year. The CPI was increasing slower in the first half of the current year as compared to 2003, while convergence of the figures was noted in August.

According to the preliminary estimates, inflation didnt exceed 0.3 0.5% in September.

The basic consumer price index the indicator reflecting the level of inflation in the consumer market without taking into account seasonal ( prices of fruits and vegetables ) and administrative ( rates of regulated types of services, etc. ) factors is calculated by the Statistical Service of the Russian Federation.

The Growth Rate of the CPI in 2002 - 2004 (% per month).

3,5% 3,0% 2,5% 2,0% 1,5% 1,0% 0,5% 0,0% -0,5% Fig. 1. The CPI Growth Rate in 2002 2004 (% per month).

The volume of gold and foreign exchange reserves the RF Central Bank amounted to 88,7 bln US dollars as of September 1, 2004, thus having grown by 15.3% since the beginning of the year and by 0.1% during August ( refer to Fig. 2 ). In addition, this volume is barely by 800 ml US dollars higher than that recorded as early as in July 9, i.e. as far back as three months. In addition, the current volume of gold and foreign exchange reserves exceeds barely by 2 bln US dollars that as of February 13.

However, according to the statement of the Bank of Russia, the gold and foreign exchange reserves will reach 100 bln US dollars by the end of the year.

In August, for the second successive year, the monetary base (required reserves + cash) was characterized by a positive movement. In July, this was entirely due to reduction of the required reserves fund ( the result of a significant decrease of the required reserves standards since July 1, 2004 ), whereas in August the decrease was noted by both components comprising the monetary base. The required reserves fund shrank by nearly another 20 bln rubles, while the volume of currency in circulation was reduced by 23 bln rubles or by 1.6%. Thus, the volume of monetary base shrank by 2.9% in total in August ( by 2.7% in July ).

The broad money5 was also reduced in August. In this case the decrease in the required reserves funds volume ( its ruble share ) and currency in circulation became the determinant factor. Other components of this aggregate were characterized by upward movement. The broad money during August 2004 shrank by 1.3% and amounted to 1.83 trillion rubles as of September 1. The volume of money supply declined by 4.6% as compared to that as of January 1 of the current year.

Besides cash funds issued by the Bank of Russia and balance of the required reserves accounts on the funds borrowed by credit organizations in national currency to be deposited with the Bank of Russia, the broad money of the Russian Federation takes into account the assets on correspondent accounts of credit organizations and bank deposits with the Bank of Russia.

Jul Jul Jul Jan Jan Jan Sep Sep Mar Mar Mar Nov Nov May May May Changes in the Monetary Base and in the Gold and Foreign Currency Reserves in 2003 - 2004.

1230 Monetary Base (billion rubles) Gold and Foreign Currency Reserves (billion dollars) Figure 2. Changes in the Monetary Base and the RF Gold and Foreign Exchange Reserves at the end of 2003 2004.

As of August 1, 2004, the volume of national monetary base amounted to 3,63 trillion rubles ( 1.4% as compared to the previous month ), thus having increased by 13.1% since the beginning of the year. In addition, the volume of currency in circulation grew by 3% as compared to the previous month and by 14.6% since the beginning of the year and amounted to 1.32 trillion rubles. Non-cash resources represented by balances on call and thrift ruble accounts opened with credit organizations, including the interest, were reduced by 3.8% as compared to the previous month ( the growth amounted to 12.3% since the beginning of the year ). In this case the basic factor governing a moderate movement of the national monetary base in the current year is build-up of the stabilization fund, its volume by now exceeding 300 bln rubles. On the other hand, double reduction of the contributions to the required reserves fund led to a significant release of the funds of commercial banks.

P. Trunin Financial Markets In September, a positive trend was dominating in the financial market. This was caused by high oil prices, absence of negative corporate news, as well as a number of transactions in the corporate sector, namely the purchase of a blocking minority ownership of NovaTek by French Total and the auction on the government equity stake of LUKOIL. Growing interest of foreign investors in Russian assets fostered the growth in shares of Russian companies. The debt market of Russia was also dominated by a falling yield trend of traded instruments.

Government Securities Market Transactions in the foreign debt market of Russia were open with optimism in the beginning of September: closing of holiday season and relatively favorable situation in the market of US treasury bonds fostered the growth of Russian Eurobonds, which was suspended after the terrorist acts took place in Russia. The market continued to grow in the middle of the month, which reduced spreads on the US Treasury bonds. Towards the end of the month, a fall was noted in the US government bond market despite the 0.25% increase of the US base rate, which fostered the growth of bonds in the Russian segment of the Eurobonds market. It was only in the end of the fourth week that the growth gave way to correction, while the general trend of investors remained positive.

billion rubles billion dollars 3-9.2.2-8.03.3-9.08.1-7.09.9-15.12.6-12.01.8-14.06.6-12.07.11-17.11.23-29.12.20-26.01.17-23.02.16-22.03.13-19.04.11-17.05.25-31.05.22-28.06.20-26.07.17-23.08.25.11-1.12.30.03-5.04.27.04-3.05.According to the data as of 24 September, yield to maturity of the Russian Eurobonds RUS-amounted to 7.10% of annual interest, RUS-18 7.59% of annual interest. On the same date the yield on the Russian Eurobonds was 6.68% on Minfin Bonds, tranche 7, 4.00% on Minfin Bonds tranche 6, 5.73% on Minfin Bonds tranche 5, and 5.51% on RUS-07.

FIGURE 1.

Minfin bonds' yields to maturity in June - September, 9.0% Tranche 5 Tranche 6 Tranche 8.0% 7.0% 6.0% 5.0% 4.0% 3.0% FIGURE 2.

Yields to maturity of the Russian eurobonds with maturity in 2030, 2018 and 2007 in June - September, 8.5% 7.5% 6.5% 5.5% 4.5% 3.5% 2.5% USD-2030 USD-2007 USD- 01.07.07.07.12.07.15.07.20.07.23.07.28.07.02.08.05.08.10.08.13.08.18.08.23.08.26.08.01.09.07.09.10.09.15.09.20.09.23.09.01.07.07.07.12.07.15.07.20.07.23.07.28.07.02.08.05.08.10.08.13.08.18.08.23.08.26.08.01.09.07.09.10.09.15.09.20.09.23.09.A general growth was observed in the market of ruble government bonds market in September. At the beginning of the month the government bonds sector remained at a low level of activity. The government debt market turnover depended largely on direct REPO transactions, which was related to ruble deficit in the banking sector. Interbank loan rates continued to grow. New instruments emerged in the market: the Bank of Russias bonds were placed, which was followed by growth in all spectrum of government bonds.

In the period between September 1 and 24, total turnover of the GKO-OFZ secondary market amounted to nearly 103 bln rubles with average daily turnover being nearly 5.76 bln rubles, which exceeds significantly the figures of August this year. On September 15, two auctions were held on OFZ-AD, 27026 and 46002 series, at par value of 5.2 and 4.8 bln US rubles, correspondingly. The issue volume amounted to 1.04 and 4.8 bln rubles. Average weighted yield at auctions was 7.52% of annual interest and for OFZ-AD 46002 and 8.05% of annual interest on OFZ-AD 27026.

As of September 28, the GKO-OFZ market volume amounted to 474.46 bln rubles at par value and 456.11 bln rubles at market value. Duration of the GKO-OFZ market portfolio was 1701.61 days.

Corporate Securities Market Stock Market Situation.

In September, the Russian stock market was governed by a stable upward trend for traded securities. Gradual growth rate was observed at the fist half of the month, which was followed by stock growth due to the end of the summer slack period. The growth was stimulated by increased investment interest in companies of the Russian electric power industry. Favorable foreign economic situation and high oil prices continued to support the market. The market rates continued to grow towards the middle of the month. Unfavorable corporate news ( it concerns mostly YUKOS ) did nothing but a short-term downward correction in the market. Neither did the tragic events at the Republic of Northen Osetiya have any significant impact on the market movement, though the news from the Caucasus did result in some market fluctuations.

FIGURE 3.

90 800.The total volume of trading ($) 80 750.The RTS Index 70 700.60 650.50 600.40 550.30 500.20 450.10 400.350.The prices and transaction turnover continued to grow in the second half of the month. At the same time, the lack of new favorable news constrained further growth rates. In addition, the market remained sensitive to political risks. At the end of the month, the market was largely supported by a points mln US dollars s 01.08.22.08.12.09.03.10.24.10.17.11.08.12.30.12.23.01.13.02.09.03.30.03.20.04.14.05.04.06.28.06.19.07.09.08.30.08.20.09.favorable foreign economic situation, as well as expectations of a positive outcome at the auction of the government stake of LUKOIL shares and the purchase of a blocking minority ownership of NovaTek by French Total.

All in all, during the period between August 31 and September 28 the RTS index grew by 7.61%, which is 44.49 points in absolute figures. Over the same period, the transaction turnover in the RTS amounted to 211.2 ml US dollars ( nearly 260.5 ml US dollars in August ) with average daily turnover being nearly 10.5 ml US dollars (12.4 ml US dollars in August). The figures of minimum and maximum transaction in September amounted to 20.68 ml US dollars ( on September 2 ) and 4.7 ml US dollars ( on September 3 ) as compared to $23.2 $5.6 in August, correspondingly.

According to the outcome of the month ( from August 30 till September 28 ), all blue chips showed positive increase in market value. Mosenergo stocks remained the leaders in terms of growth by demonstrating the 43.5% advance over the period under review. Such an expansive growth is most likely to be explained by continued purchase of companies shares by the strategic investor. Shares of Sibneft ( 27.88% ) and Tatneft ( 15.47% ) also grew in rates. These are followed by Norilsky Nikel ( 11.11% ), Rostelekom ( 9.25% ), and RAO Unified Energy System of Russia (8.59%). Shares of Sberbank of Russia (7.1%), LUKOIL (6.94%) Surgutneftegaz (6.91%) YUKOS (3.5%) grew at a slightly lower rates.

FIGURE 4.

Dynamics of the Russian Blue Chips from August 30 to September 28, 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Change in price (%) In September, LUKOIL ( 21.39% ), RAO Unified Energy System of Russia (16.31%) and Norilsky Nikel ( 9.25% ) became the three top leaders in terms of turnover in the RTS6.

According to the data of 28 September, the five top leaders in capitalization of the domestic stock market are as follows7: LUKOIL 26.7 bln US dollars, Surgutneftegaz 25.9 bln US dollars, Sibneft 15.76 bln US dollars, Norilsky Nikel 12.78 bln US dollars, and RAO Unified Energy System of Russia - 11.75 bln US dollars Futures market. In September, investors were more active in the futures RTS (FORTS) market than in August. In the period between September 1 and 28, the total turnover of the futures and options market in the RTS amounted to nearly 26.4 bln rubles (112.77 thousand transactions and 3.26 million In a classic stock market.

According to the ђs data.

Ukos Tatneft Sibneft GMK LUKoil Russia Russia NorNikel RAO UES Mosenergo Rostelekom Sberbank of Surgutneftegas contracts ), which is slightly higher than in ( 20 bln rubles turnover, 108.1 thousand transactions and 2.86 million contracts ).

Futures still remain in maximum demand: in the period under review, the futures turnover amounted to 23.4 bln rubles ( 108.35 thousand transactions and 2.89 million contracts ). Options were in significantly less demand with turnover being nearly 2.97 ml rubles ( 4.4 thousand transactions and 370.. ). The maximum turnover in the futures market amounted to 1.98 bln rubles ( on September 27 ), while the minimum one was 807 ml rubles on September 20.

Corporate bond market.

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