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Norilsk Nickel On October ninth the International rating agency Moody's Investors Service has raised the rating of GMK Norilsk Nickel from Ba1 to Baa2 i.e., two points up at a time, having brought the company to the investors level. The rating on unsecured bonds was raised up by three points from Ba2 to Baa2, and under national rating standard of Moody's Interfax the rating came up from Aa1.ru to Aaa.ru.

According to the Agency information, the rating growth points to the strong fundamental position of the company. The rating forecast is stable. According to aggregate results of the ratings (Fitch B-, Moody's - a2 Standard & Poors - -), Norilsk Nickel keeps a leading position with the highest rating among the Russian private companies. The ratings reflect a unique resource base and stable financial position of the company, as well as the leading position of GMK Norilsk Nickel in the world market of nickel, palladium, platinum, copper.

Sberbank of Russia On October 20 an agreement on a syndicated loan in the amount of USD 1.5 bln was signed between the Sberbank of Russia and foreign banks-participants, including ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Barclays Capital, J.P. Morgan plc and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited.

Thirty banks with broad geography of representation have joint the syndicate. The international banking corporation have demonstrated a growing trust to the Sberbank of Russia. An average amount of the banks shares in the credit is significantly higher than in previous syndicated loans, provided to the Russian credit recipients. The syndicated credit term is three years with a lump sum settlementUHT at UTH the end of the term. Initially the amount of credit was announced at the level of USD 1 bln, but the banks offering came up to USD 1.7 bln and Sberbank of Russia decided to extend the credit up to USD 1.5 bln. The interest credit rate is LIBOR+0.3 per cent per annum, with the lowest margin for the three-year syndicate credits provided to the Russian credit recipients. The credit will be addressed to common corporate purposes.

The contract ensured the largest unsecured syndicate credit, ever provided to a financial institution of Russia and countries of CIS, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Currently the syndicated loan to the Sberbank of Russia in the amount of USD 1.5 bln became one of the three largest syndicated contracts, made in 2006 for financial institutions of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Table 1.

Dynamics of international stock market indices Dynamics within Dynamics since Data as of October 27 Value the month(%)TF FTP the year beginning P (%) RTS (Russia) 1627.24 7.12 % 36.70 % Dow Jones Industrial Average (USA) 12090.26 3.4 3 % 11.46 % Nasdaq Composite (USA) 2350.62 3.8 5 % 4.76 % S&P 500 (USA) 1377.34 3.05 % 8.55 % FTSE 100 (UK) 6160.90 3.89 % 8.44 % DAX-30 (Germany) 6262.54 4.55 % 14.91 % CAC-40 (France) 5396.03 2.92 % 13.48 % Swiss Market (Switzerland) 8695.40 3.3 6 % 13.98 % Nikkei-225 (Japan) 16669.07 4.52 % 1.88 % Bovespa (Brazil) 39328.00 8.92 % 17.37 % IPC (Mexico) 22762.86 4.66 % 26.98 % IPSA (Chile) 2372.86 4.71 % 22.34 % Straits Times (Singapore) 2729.98 6.73 % 15.22 % Seoul Composite (South Korea) 1369.09 0.67 % -1.45 % ISE National-100 () 40683.25 10.50 % 2.24 % Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Free Index 814.84 5.00 % 15.25 % Foreign currency market From October 3 to 28 the USD exchange rate against RUR has decreased by RUR 0.006 (0,024 per cent) and made RUR 26.788 to USD 1.The total volume of trading in USD on SELT in the same period from October 3 to 28 amounted to about USD22.5 bln at an average daily turnover of USD1.bln (about USD2,2 bln in September). Therefore, trading activity of foreign currency in October was PT TP Versus index indicator valid on September 27, 2006.

much lower that in September. The largest amount of trading in USD was noted on October 10, when it amounted to about USD 2.5 bln, the minimum level of USD 738.4 mln was observed on October 9.

The banking sector rouble liquidity in October of the current year has shown some growth against the September indicators: the average balance of credit agencies correspondent accounts in the Bank of Russia in October was about RUR 369.3 bln against September indicator of about RUR 356.1 bln.

Dynamics of the Official USD/RUR and EUR/RUR Exchange Rates in 2005-40.39.Official USD/RUR exchange rate 38.Official EUR/RUR exchange rate 37.36.35.34.33.32.31.30.29.28.27.26.Dynamics of the Dollar/Euro Exchange Rate on the International Markets 1.1.1.1.From October 1 to 30 Euro rate in the world market has grown by USD 0,007 (0.52 per cent) and reached the level of USD 1,2746 for EURO 1. In this background a certain growth of EURO against RUR was observed in October. In the period from October 3 to 28, EURO has been raised by RUR 0,003 . (0.008 per cent), namely from RUR 33.965 to RUR 33.968 for EURO 1. The total volume roubles 02.08.17.08.01.09.16.09.01.10.16.10.31.10.15.11.30.11.15.12.30.12.14.01.29.01.13.02.28.02.15.03.30.03.14.04.29.04.14.05.29.05.13.06.28.06.13.07.28.07.12.08.27.08.11.09.26.09.11.10.26.10.USD/EURO 01.08.31.08.30.09.30.10.29.11.29.12.28.01.27.02.29.03.28.04.28.05.27.06.27.07.26.08.25.09.25.10.of trading in EURO on SELT in the period from October 3 to 20 amounted to only EURO 420,6 mln at an average daily turnover of EURO 35.1 mln (about EURO 36.76 mln in September). Therefore, the trading activity of the European currency practically remained of the level of September. The largest amount of trading in EURO within the period under review was noticed on October 10 at the level of EURO 54.5 mln, the minimum level of EURO 24,9 mln was observed on October 20.

Table 2.

Financial market indicators/indices Month June July August September October* Monthly inflation 0.3 % 0. 7 % 0.2 % 0.1% 0.3 % Estimated annual inflation given the current month 3.66 % 8.73 % 2.43 % 1.21 % 3.7% trend Russian Central Bank refinancing rate 11.5 % 11.5 % 11.5% 11.5 % 11 % Average yield to maturity for all OFZ bond issues 6.59 % 6.09 % 6.18 % 6.07 % 6.1 % (% per annum) Monthly turnover on the GKO-OFZ market (RUR 28.26 32.25 49.79 4.,32 20,bln) Minfin bond yield to maturity at end of month (% per annum):

tranche 5 6.11% 5.88 % 5.59 % 5.54 % 5.6 % tranche 7 6.24 % 5.95 % 5.64 % 5.43 % 5.5 % tranche 8 4.74 % 4.70 % 4.60 % 4.22 % 4.3 % Eurobond yield to maturity at the end of month (% per annum):

2007 6.11% 5.75 % 5.57 % 5.35 % 5.4 % 2010 6.06 % 5.80 % 5.54 % 5.05 % 5.5 % 2018 6.52 % 6.21 % 5.88 % 5.80 % 5.9 % 2028 6.80 % 6.49 % 6.21 % 6.13 % 6.2 % 2030 6.34 % 6.02 % 5.74 % 5.70 % 5.8 % Interbank credit-MIACR rate (% per annum at end 5.75 % 5.49 % 3.15 % 4.75% 8.0 % of month) on 1-day loans Official RUR to USD exchange rate at the end of 2.,0789 26.8718 26.7379 2.7799 26.month (RUR/USD) Official RUR to Euro exchange rate at the end of 33.9759 34.1084 34.3127 33.9783 34.month (RUR/EUR) Change in the official RUR/USD exchange rate in 0.35 % -0,76 % -0,50 % 0,16 % -0,12 % one month (%) Change in the official RUR/Euro exchange rate in -1.91% 0.39% 0.60 % -0.97 % 0.15 % one month (%) RTS stock market turnover in one month (in USD 1014.37 638,55 941,96 759,60 900,mln, for shares on the RTS index list) RTS-1 index at the end of month 1503.06 1565.46 1659.66 1563.19 Change in RTS-1 index in one month (%) 1.79 % 4.15 % 6.02 % -5.81 % 2.4 % * Estimated data D. Polevoy Real Economy: Trends and Factors According to the estimates of the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the GDP within January-September of the year 2006 amounted to RUR 19.346 billion, which makes 6,6 per cent growth against 5.8 per cent of the relevant period of preceding year. In the third quarter of the year GDP has grown by 6.9 per cent against the relevant period of preceding year, and as per year-end results, it is estimated growth in 6.7 per cent, as compared with 6.4 per cent of 2005.

Retention of high rates of GDP growth was determined by an intensive expansion of internal consumer demand (112.3 per cent), as well as investment demand 111.7 per cent) in the background of a reduced impact of imports.

According to the estimates of the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the GDP within January-September of the year 2006 amounted to RUR 19.346 billion, which makes 6,6 per cent growth against 5.8 per cent of the relevant period of preceding year. After some decrease of the growth rate, observed in the first quarter of 2006 (up to 5.5 per cent), an acceleration of production volume is noticed in the later periods. In the second quarter of the year the GDP has grown by 7.4 per cent against 5.7 per cent of the relevant period of preceding year, whereas in the third quarter the relevant growth was by 6.9 per cent as opposed to 6.6 per cent accordingly. As of the year results, the estimated GDP growth should make 6.6- 6.7 per cent as compared with 6.4 per cent in 2005.

Retention of high rates of growth of GDP was determined by an intensive expansion of internal consumer demand (112.3 per cent), as well as investment demand (111.7 per cent) in the background of a reduced impact of imports. The internal demand within January-September of 2006 has grown by 10.2 per cent versus 9.0 per cent in the relevant period of preceding year. In the background of exceptionally favorable external economic situation the slow-down of the growth rate of external demand to 6.2 per cent against 7.3 per cent within January-September of 2004 was primarily determined by a decrease of volume of exported oil in the current year (by 17 per cent). It should be noticed, that is characterized by a slow-down of the rates of growth of domestic production volume in the background of expressed positive dynamics of imports. As a result, a reduction of the share of domestic production from 53.4 per cent in January 2005 to 48.4 per cent in the relevant period of the current year was noticed in the structure of sources of coverage of domestic consumer demand.

T Fig1.T Changes in GDP Dynamics by Components of Domestic and External Demand in 2004-2006, % vs the Relevant Quarter of Preceding Year I II III IY I II III IY I II III 2004 2005 - GDP production; Domestic demand; Domestic production, External demand One of the specific factors contributing to the internal demand structure in 2006 was sustainable outrunning growth of investments in capital assets versus the dynamics of households demand, observed since the second quarter of 2006. The growth of investments in capital assets within JanuarySeptember 2006 made 11.7 per cent versus 9.8 per cent in the relevant period of 2005.

T Fig 2.T Dynamics of GDP Final Demand by Components in 2004-2006, % vs the Relevant Quarter of Preceding Year I II III IV I II III IV I II III 2004. 2005. GDP; Final demand of households; Investments in capital assets The high rates of growth of consumer demand were supported by increased level of real income of population in January - September of 2005 (by 11.8 cent versus 9.4 per cent in the relevant period of 2005), including wages growth (by 12.8 per cent versus 8.7 per cent) and pensions in real terms (as per estimates, by 17.3 per cent against 8.5 per cent accordingly).

In the background of increased real income and explicit expansion of consumer credit services, the turnover of retail trade has increased within January-September of 2006 by 12.3 per cent, while the volume of chargeable services has grown by 7.8 per cent and exceeded the indicator of the preceding year by 1 p.p. The dynamics in the volume of sales of non-food products was higher than that of foodstuffs due to moderate growth of prices for non-food products. As a result, the turnover of non-food products has increased within January-September 2006 by 14.7 per cent, whereas in foodstuffs the growth made only 9.5 per cent. The dominant share in the structure of retail trade was made by nonfood products (54.2 per cent). In the situation of slowed-down inflation within January-September 2005 by 1.4 per point, a tendency was observed in the structure of the population expenses towards the reduction of the share of expenses for purchases and greater accumulation of savings on bank accounts or in securities (1.2 per cent points as compared with the relevant period of 2005).

In 2006, retention of stable dynamics of growth was noticed in all economic sectors. The growth of industrial production as compared with January-September of 2005 made 4.2 per cent, which has exceeded the indicator of preceding year by 0.6 per cent points. The accelerated dynamics of industrial production was one of the factors of expansion in transportation system, especially railways and pipelines.

T Fig. 3.T Dynamics of Production Growth Rates by Economic Sectors in 2004-2006, % versus Relevant Quarter of Preceding Year I II III IV I II III IV I II III 2004. 2005. Industrial production Transport and communications Construction volume Production of works and services by basic economic sectors T Fig. 4.T The rates of Production Growth/Decrease in 2004-2006, by Industries versus Relevant Quarter of Preceding Year I II III IV I II III IV I II III 2004 2005 - , Mineral resources extraction Extraction of fuel and energy resources Processing industries Production and supplies of energy, gas and water Industrial production Structural changes in the industries were determined by an overrunning growth rates in the processing industries. However, in comparison with January-September 2005, a slow-down was noticed in those industries up to 4.4 per cent versus 5.2 per cent, while the rates of growth in mineral extraction industry was accelerated by 1.1 per cent points.

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