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On November 11, OAO LUKOILs Board set the repayment price of the documentary interest non convertible bonds payable to bearer, which the company planned to place until the end of the year. The repayment price was set at the level of 100% of the nominal value. The intended volume of output is Rb. 6 bln., while the maturity term 5 years. The placement took place on Ovember 23, 2004, at MICEX. the coupon rate payable each days was set at the level of 7.25% annualized 7,25%, which equals the efficient yields to maturity rate of 7.38% annualized. Investors submitted 123 bids worth a total Rb. 11.3 bln.

In early November, OAO Sibneft announced an attraction of a USD 160 mln. worth sindicated loan with +1.4% LIBOR interest rate. This particular loan thus became the cheapest in the companys history. The 25 month loan was extended against export oil supplies. The loan sindication was arranged by ABN AMRO Bank. The company plans to spend the credit to refinance its debts and liquid capital.

On December 3, 2004 OAO Norilsk Nickel announced its intention to purchase up 12, 500. 000 of its stock (5.8% of its authorized capital, with the face value of Rb.1 per share) at a price of Rb. 1,680 . per 1 share. The company planned to spend up to Rb.21 bln. on the deal. ZAO Natsionalnaya Registratsionnaya Kompania received duly arranged applications from the companys stockholders on the sale of their stock, of which stockholders legal entities submitted 207, while private individuals 165 applica tions. The total number of stock stipulated in the applications accounted for 59, 761. 360, of which 57, 965. 450 shares were offered by legal entities, while the remaining 1, 795. 910 by private individuals. As the number of the stock offered for sale proved to be substan tially greater than what the company actually was going to buy, the final number of stock it would buy from a shareholder would be computed on the proportional basis.

In December, there appeared information on the market that EBRD was going to dis burse a Euro 80 mln. credit to RAO UES Russias daughter OAO Systemny operator CDD UES. The respective loan agreement was signed in London. As per the agreement, the loan should be disbursed in two tranches: while EBRD would extend the first one, worth Euro 60 mln. and for the 10 year period, to Systemny operator, the other tranche amounted to Euro 20 mln. would be extended, for the period of 7 years, by a cindicate of two banks: namely Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG and Bayerische Landesbank.

It is envisaged that Systemny operator would spend the attracted funds to design and introduce a new automated SCADA/EMS (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition/ Energy Management System).

It is the common knowledge that a sound dividend policy is a perfect vehicle of in creasing attractiveness of stock. In 2004, some companies declared their eagerness to spend a prt of their profit on payment of dividends. In particular, at their early meeting on December 15, 2004, OAO Slavnefts stockholders ruled to distribute intermediate divi dends over the 9 months of 2004, with the payment totaled a. Rb. 14.5 bln., or Rb. 3.06 per 1 ordinary share with the face value of 0.1 kop. The dividends will be paid until December 31, 004. The list of shareholders to take part in the meeting was made according to the register data as of November 9, 2004.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks At its October meeting, the Board of OAO Norilsk Nickel decided to recommend to the early shareholder meeting to distribute intermediate dividends for the 9 months of 2004 at an amount of Rb. 41.4 per 1 share. The early shareholder meeting convened on 23 November consequently approved of the Boards decision. By the 2004 results, the to tal volume of dividends, including intermediate ones, matches the companys dividend pol icy (2025% of net profit computed according to ISA).

In early December, RAO UES Russia announced that the company had completed distribution of its 2003 dividends as scheduled by December 1, 2004. According to the companys information, the total volume of dividend payments was Rb. 2.39 bln., of which a. 1.9 bln. was paid on ordinary shares (Rb. 0.0469 per 1 share), while Rb. 473 mln. was paid on preference stock (Rb. 0.2283 per 1 share).

2.5. Scenario Based Macroeconomic Forecast for This section describes a scenario based forecast of macroeconomic parameters (GDP, CPI, export, import, USD/RUR exchange rate, gold and foreign exchange reserves, real effective RUR exchange rate, retail turnover, unemployment rate, real incomes of physical bodies) for 2005 performed on the basis of the structural econometric equations.

Apart from this, changes in tax revenues to consolidated and federal budgets were as sessed under the examined scenarios in relation to the scheduled changes in the tax law since 2005. In addition, we have calculated alternative assessments of basic parameters of the federal budget for 2005 under the same scenario which was used for defining pa rameters of the same budget.

The equations were assessed on the basis of the quarterly data for the period com mencing in the 1st quarter of 1996 thru the 4th quarter of 2004 inclusively. In various cases, the model was assessed only within the interval from the 1st quarter 2000. The data source was represented by the official information obtained from the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation, the Bank of Russia, the RF Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund.

The equations describing the middle term movement of macroeconomic parame ters, include variables and their lags having a material and corresponding economically logical effect on the explained variable. The equations were also added with dummy vari ables allowing quarterly seasonality and structural changes to be taken into account. The members of moving average were used to eliminate autocorrelation of the reminders.

The macroeconomic parameters were calculated on the basis of pre selected sce narios of exogenous variables movement Urals oil price, capital investments, 2 and USD/EURO exchange rate.

Table Scenario of exogenous variables in Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario USD/EURO exchange rate 1.21 1.22 1.Urals oil price (USD per barrel) 28 36 M2 incremental growth rate, % 28 35 Capital investment incremental growth, % 9.8 12.0 8.The macroeconomic forecast for 2005 in Table 25 was calculated for three scenarios of USD/EURO exchange rate, oil prices, growth in 2 and capital investments. Scenario was drafted in accordance with the initial conditions and the forecasted figures for Section 2.

Monetary and budgetary spheres obtained by the RF Ministry of Economic Development (MED) (Forecast of socioeconomic development of the Russian Federation till 2007): annual average USD/EURO exchange rate is expected to be 1,21, Urals oil price is expected to be $28 per barrel, M2 incremental growth rate is expected to account for 28%, and capital investment incremental growth at the end of the year is expected to account for 9.8%. Scenario 2 is optimistic and forecast ing that oil price would be equal to that of 2004 ($36 per barrel). According to Scenario 2, capital investment growth is expected to account for 12%, average annual USD/EURO ex change rate is expected to be 1,22, M2 incremental growth rate is expected to account for 35%. Scenario 3 is pessimistic and expecting Urals oil price to gradually decline down to $22 barrel by the end of 2005, which would cause the average annual Urals oil price to be $25 per barrel. In addition, according to Scenario 3, USD is expected to strengthen against EURO as compared to the previous year (average annual exchange rate would be USD1,15: EURO1 in 2005 against 1,22 in 2004), capital investments are expected to drop down to 8.5% per year, and M2 incremental growth rate is expected to account for 20% at the end of 2005.

Table Forecast for MEDs Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario forecast Real GDP incremental growth, % 5.2 6.0 3.8 6.GDP, RUR trillion 18.93 19.12 18.70 18.CPI incremental growth, % 9,0 9,3 9,0 8,Gold and foreign exchange reserves, 139 154 USD billion Strengthening rates of real effective RUR 3.3 6.4 2.9 4.exchange rate, % Strengthening rates of real RUR/USD, %. 4,8 8,2 2,8 4,Nominal USD/RUR exchange rate 28,6 27,7 29,2 30,Export, USD billion 161 175 155 163,Import, USD billion 104 108 102 104,Incremental growth in retail turnover, % 9,0 9,1 8,6 8,EPE incremental growth, % of the previous 4,7 5,7 3,3 5,quarter Share of unemployed persons in total gain 7,7 7,6 7,8 8,fully occupied population, % Growth in real cash income of physical enti 7,6 8,1 6,7 ties, % The macroeconomic forecast shows (refer to Table 26) that according to the opti mistic scenario (Scenario 2), GDP growth rate is expected to decrease down to 6.0% in 2005 as compared to 3.8% in Scenario 3. In 2005, GDP volume in nominal terms is ex pected to reach: RUR18,93 trillion according to Scenario 1; RUR19,12 trillion According to Scenario 2; and RUR18,7 trillion according to Scenario 3.

In 2005, the rate of inflation is expected to decrease down to 99,3% depending on the forecasted changes in money quantity.

Under the lowest oil prices in 2005 (Scenario 3), gold and foreign exchange reserves are expected to grow by $6 billion, while if the oil price in 2005 would remain equal to that in 2004 (Scenario 2), incremental growth of gold and foreign exchange reserves is ex pected to reach $33 billion at the end of 2005.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks In 2005, the rate of strengthening of the effective RUR exchange rate is expected to vary from 2.9 to 6.4%, depending on a scenario, with the fastest rate in Scenario 2. In 2005, the rate of strengthening of RUR against USD is expected to be faster under Sce nario 1 and 2, i.e. if the USD/EURO exchange rate would remain equal to that in 2004. Un der Scenario 3, i.e. in the case of gradual strengthening of USD against EURO during 2005, RUR is expected to strengthen against USD by nearly 2.8% at the end of 2005.

According to the data of the Bank of Russia, export volumes at the end of amount to USD183 billion. In 2005, export volumes are expected to be below the foregoing figure under each of the Scenarios. In case that oil price in 2005 would be equal to that in 2004 (Scenario 2), export volumes are expected to be nearly USD175 billion, while it would amount to nearly USD155 billion, if oil price goes down to $22 per barrel by the end of 2005. The forecasted import volumes in 2005 are expected to exceed that in 2004 under each of the Scenarios, correspondingly by USD9 billion under Scenario 1, by USD13 billion under Scenario 2 and by USD7 billion under Scenario 3. Import volumes in 2004 are nearly USD95 billion, according the data of the Bank of Russia. Thus, on the basis of the fore casts obtained, export surplus in 2005 is expected to be below that of the previous year by more than USD20 billion Under each of the Scenarios. Under the pessimistic scenario, ex port surplus in 2005 is expected to decline by nearly USD35 billion.

The forecasted growth rates of retail turnover, industrial production index and real cash incomes correspond in general to the estimates of GDP growth rates. In the middle term pe riod, the real growth rates of retail turnover appear to be comparable by volume with the growth rates in available real incomes and are below the GDP growth rates by more than percentage points on the average. The growth rates of industrial production index appear to be slower than the GDP growth rates by 0.4 percentage points on the average.

In 2005, a share of the unemployed in the total number of gainfully occupied popula tion is expected to be reduced down to 7.7% under Scenario 1, 7.6% under the condi tions of the most optimistic Scenario, and 7.8% under the pessimistic Scenario, as com pared to the previous year.

It should be noted that the obtained forecasts of basic macroeconomic parameters for 2005 (Scenario 1) are generally in line with the similar forecasts obtained by the RF Ministry of Economic Development under the similar initial conditions. The two forecasts disagree mostly in the figures reflecting economic activity. According to the forecast made by the RF Ministry of Economic Development, the GDP growth rate in 2005 appears to be beyond our figures by 1 percentage point. Such disagreement is typical of growth rates in cash incomes of physical entities and industrial output.

We assessed the forecasted changes in tax revenues to the RF federal budget and the RF consolidated budget in relation to the changes in tax law and budget law scheduled by RF Government in 2005 as compared to the previous years. In particular, according to the proposed scenarios of oil prices, we took into account the effects of a heavier tax load imposed on the petroleum industry from 2005: changes in export tax on oil and mineral tax rates. Tax revenues for 2005 were calculated considering the introduction of the country of destination principle on the value added tax imposed on hydrocarbons and other prod ucts exported to the Republic of Byelorussia. We took into account a decline in export du ties by an average of 32 % for all groups in 2005, except for the fuel and energy group, which is also in line with the Ministry of Finances forecasts conserving reduction in tax revenues. Finally, we calculated changes in revenues from single social tax due to reduc tion by up to 26% in the basic rate of this tax. With regard to the federal budget, we also took into account the changes in the budget law represented by adding 1.5 percentage Section 2.

Monetary and budgetary spheres points of profit tax rate to the federal budget, as well as the changes in the standard of payments on mineral tax and regular payments.

The corresponding quantitative changes in the amount of tax revenues (refer to Table 27) were calculated on the basis of tax revenues received over the previous year with consid eration of the taxation base growth, presented oil price scenarios, obtained forecasts of USD/RUR exchange rate, and growth rates of incomes of physical entities. The assess ment of changes in single social tax revenues was based on the data on distribution of number of employees by calculated payroll obtained by the Russian Statistics Agency on the basis of a sample survey for April 2004. This allowed the aggregate effect of changes in the single social tax schedule on such tax revenues to be calculated more correctly.

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