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Ukos Tatneft Sibneft GMK LUKoil Russia Russia NorNikel RAO UES Mosenergo Rostelekom Sberbank of Surgutneftegas about RUR 1.49 million. The maximum trading volume was observed on March 1 and made RUR 1.66 billion, while the minimum trading volume (RUR 920.67 million) was registered on March 5.

Corporate bond market. Over the month, overall positive price dynamics were observed on the market of corporate bonds. From February 27 till March 25, the price index of corporate bonds traded at the MICEXincreased by 1.07 points (0.95 per cent) and the index of ten most liquid corporate sector bonds increased by 1.53 points (1.3 per cent).

The major factors behind the dynamics of the RF financial market, including the market of corporate bonds still were the liquidity in the banking sector and the Ruble / US $ exchange rate dynamics. Besides, more active behavior of non-residents on the market after the Presidential elections had an additional positive effect on prices.

In the period from March 1 till March 24, the total turnover in the bond sector of MICEX made about RUR 11.3 billion, while the average daily turnover was registered at RUR 664.3 billion (RUR 1.78 billion in February). Therefore, in March the activity of investors was significantly below the levels observed in February.

FIGURE Dynamics of corporate bond indices 115.0% ZETBI-Corp ZETBI-Corp112.5% 110.0% 107.5% 105.0% 102.5% 100.0% 97.5% 95.0% External factors affecting the dynamics of the Russian stock market. Throughout March of 2004, the growth in prices continued on the world oil market. Thus, in the period from February 27 till March 26 of 2004, the price of Brent oil on the world market increased by US $ 0.87 (2.86 per cent) making US $ 33.per barrel. It should be noted that in the period from March 16 till March 22, the world oil price was at or above US $ 34 per barrel. There were several factors behind these positive dynamics. First, in accordance with the forecast published by the International Energy Agency, the consumption of oil should increase in 2004, what in view of predicted reduction of quotas on the part of OPEC may create prerequisites for emergence10 of deficit. The Madrid explosions have also facilitated a rise in prices.

The indices of corporate bonds traded at the MICEX that have been used for the calculations are calculated by Zenit Bank.

For details on the oil market situation, see the section Oil and natural gas sector. 6.

Dynamics of Brent Oil FIGURE 7.

210% Dow Jones Industrial Average Nasdaq Composite 190% The RTS Index 170% 150% 130% 110% 90% 70% 50% In March, on the world stock markets there was observed an overall worsening of the market situation (see Table 1). The US and European stock indices were characterized by negative rates of growth. The only exception were stock indices of Japan, Mexico, and Turkey, which grew over the month. Besides, the overall dollars per barrel of the market situation affected developing countries, what was reflected by the dynamics of the stock index calculated by the agency MSCI.

In the beginning of the month the US stock indices grew somewhat, however, later there prevailed downward dynamics. The major factors behind the decline in indices were the decelerating rates of economic growth in the USA, in particular, the unfavorable data on the labor market, a rise in the world oil prices, and the political factor of a decline in the popularity of G. Bush, the incumbent US President. Even the meeting of the FRS Open Market Committee, where there was taken the decision not to change the interest rate (at present the rate is at 1 per cent) could not prevent the fall of the stock market. It should be also specifically noted that the Madrid explosions were an additional factor behind the slump on the stock market, since investors perceived them as an evidence of growing threat of terrorism, while the political factor (diminishing popularity of G. Bush) also contributed to these developments.

Summing up the developments analyzed above, it should be noted that as before, the dynamics of the Russian stock market are most considerably affected by the situation on the world raw material markets, while being less prone to the impact of the situation on the world stock markets. An evidence confirming this conclusion is the fact that even at the background of falling stock indices in the USA and Europe, the Russian RTS index grew and even reached its historical maximum.

Corporate news.

The NK LUKoil In March, the LITASKO company, a 100 per cent affiliate of the NK LUKoil signed a contract for supply of gasoline and diesel fuel in the northern Iraqi provinces. The contract is termed for 3 months, however, it may be prolonged for up to 12 months. The quarterly volumes of gasoline and diesel fuel supply are set at 180 thousand metric tons and 130 thousand metric tons respectively. According to the contract, the shipments should start since April 1, 2004.

Besides, the NK LUKoil Board of Directors took the decision to issue 6 millions of documentary interest bearing inconvertible bearer bonds maturing in 5 years with par value Rub. 1000 each. The period of coupon payments of the bonds is set at 6 months. The interest rate on all coupons is uniform and should be determined basing on the results of the auction on the date of the start of placement. The funded loan envisages a 3 year offer.

The OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel On March 29, the company announced that it purchased for cash via its 100 per cent affiliate London based company Norimet 98.5 million ordinary shares in the gold mining company Gold Fields Limited. The total amount of purchase has made about Rand 7.6 billion, or Rand 77.5 per one ordinary share. The amount of the transaction in US $ equivalent made US $ 1.16 billion, or US $ 11.79 per one ordinary share.

The OAO NGK Slavneft On March 15, 2004, the OAO NGK Slavneft completed the repayment of the issue of the bond issue amounting to Rub. 2 billion as stipulated by the terms of the issuance. At the same time, the company paid the coupon income from the fourth coupon of its second tranche of bonds. The coupon rate made 8.89 per cent per annum, or Rub. 44.33 per each share with par value of Rub. 1000. The total amount of payments made Rub. 88.66 million.

Table 1.

Dynamics f International Stock Market Indices Change within the Change since the Data as of March 26, 2004 Value month (%)11 beginning of the year (%) 716.55 15.7% 22.26% RTS (Russia) 10212.97 -4.57% -1.89% Dow Jones Industrial Average (USA) 1960.02 -9.00% -2.33% Nasdaq Composite (USA) 1108.06 -4.09% -0.04% S&P 500 (USA) 4357.5 -1.98% -3.39% FTSE 100 (UK) As compared to the level registered on February 25.

Change within the Change since the Data as of March 26, 2004 Value month (%)11 beginning of the year (%) 3822.33 -7.42% -4.88% DAX-30 (Germany) 3592.39 -2.27% -0.12% CAC-40 (France) 5587 -2.81% 0.08% Swiss Market (Switzerland) 11770.65 7.27% 8.73% Nikkei-225 (Japan) 21541 -11.54% -4.03% Bovespa (Brazil) 10432 9.08% 28.50% IPC (Mexico) 1433.87 -0.35% -3.42% IPSA (Chile) 1827.11 -3.84% 2.00% Straits Times (Singapore) 863.95 -0.59% 5.20% Seoul Composite (South Korea) 20836.12 13.51% 8.82% ISE National-100 (Turkey) 466.627 -0.67% 5.30% Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Free Index The Foreign Exchange Market. In the period from February 28 till March 26, the US $ / RUR exchange rate declined by 2 kopecks to the level of RUR 28.4979 per US $. In the beginning of the month the dynamics of the Ruble exchange rate were primarily determined by the US $ exchange rate on the world forex market: a sharp appreciation of the Dollar against Euro resulted in the Ruble depreciation with respect to the US Dollar. However, on the whole the process of exchange rate determination went under impact of two oppositely directed trends, what limited the band of possible fluctuations: the US Dollar appreciation on the world market was compensated by the growth in the world oil prices. Over the next three weeks, the Ruble again somewhat appreciated against the on the US Dollar, what was facilitated by high oil prices and a higher demand for Rubles in relation to the nearing deadline for tax payments.


Dynamics of the Official USD/RUR and EUR/RUR Exchange Rates in 2003-38.Official USD/RUR exchange rate 37.Official EUR/RUR exchange rate aggregate volume of trade in the US Dollar at the SELT in the period from March 1 till March made US $ 12.07 billion. The average daily turnover made US $ 710.2 million over this period, what was somewhat below the respective indicator registered in February of 2004 (US $ 889 million). During the pe roubles under review, the highest volume of trade in the US Dollar, about US $ 1.9 billion, was observed on March 3 (about US $ 3.38 billion in February); the lowest volume, US $ 441.33 million, was observed on March 1.

This March, the Ruble liquidity in the banking sector somewhat decreased in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding month: in March, the average balances of correspondent accounts of credit organizations with the Bank of Russia made RUR 189.86 billion, what was by about RUR 46 billion below the respective indicator registered in February (RUR 236.32 billion).

In the period from February 29 till March 26, on the world forex markets there was observed appreciation of US $ against Euro. Thus, during this period of time the Euro exchange rate decreased by US $ 0.035 making US $ 1.214 per Euro.

The dynamics of the Euro - Ruble rate were mainly determined by the trends on the world market. Following the appreciation of the US Dollar against Euro on the world forex markets, the exchange rate of the European currency against the Ruble also declined. In the period from February 28 till March 26, the European currency depreciated by RUR 0.97 (-2.74 per cent) from RUR 35.5 per Euro and made RUR 34.53 per Euro. The aggregate turnover of trade at the SELT amounted to Euro 163.2 million in the period from March 1 till March 24 (Euro 127.6 million in February). In this period, the highest trade volume of Euro was registered on March 11 at Euro 13.99 million, and the lowest, Euro 6.36 million, on March 1.


Dynamics of the Dollar/Euro Exchange Rate on the International Markets 2.

Financial Markets Indicators Month November December January February March* Monthly inflation rate 1,0% 1,1% 1,8% 1,0% 0,8% Inflation rate annualized on the basis of this 12,68% 14,03% 23,87% 12,68% 10% month's trend CB RF refinancing rate 16% 16% 14% 14% 14% Annualized yield to maturity on OFZ issues (%) 6,74% 7,63% 6,48% 6,15% 6,6% Volume of trading in the secondary GKO-OFZ 5,02 20,58 31,77 25,47 60,market for the month (RUR billion) Yield to maturity on Minfin bonds at the end of the month (% p.a.) USD/EURO November December January February March* 5th tranche 5,99% 5,62% 5,60% 5,36% 5,0% 6th tranche 4,36% 4,18% 4,01% 3,88% 3,6% 7th tranche 7,09% 6,51% 6,40% 6,15% 5,9% 8th tranche 5,09% 5,16% 4,77% 4,56% 4,2% Yield to maturity of Eurobonds at the end of the month (% p.a.) 2005 3,16% 3,05% 2,83% 2,77% 2,5% 2007 4,66% 4,42% 4,45% 4,20% 3,9% 2010 5,92% 5,80% 5,79% 5,68% 5,5% 2018 7,19% 6,97% 6,86% 6,82% 6,5% 2028 7,50% 7,34% 7,33% 7,25% 7,0% 2030 7,57% 7,28% 7,24% 7,08% 6,8% INSTAR-MIACR rate (% p.a.) on interbank 7,75% 7,75% 2,15% 1,76% 1,5% overnight loans at the end of the month Official RUR / US$ exchange rate at the end of 29,7387 29,4545 28,4916 28,5156 28,the month Official RUR / Euro exchange rate at the end of 35,5021 36,8240 35,3635 35,5076 34,the month Average annualized growth in RUR / US$ ex- -0,40% -0,96% -3,27% 0,08% -0,change rate Average annualized growth in RUR / Euro ex- 1,83% 3,72% -3,97% 0,41% -3,0% change rate Volume of trading at the stock market in the 374,55 416,89 432,75 433,12 RTS for the month (US$ million) Value of RTS-1 Index at the end of the month 543,84 567,40 611,10 670,14 Change in value of RTS-1 Index during the month 5,81% 4,33% 7,70% 9,66% 8,2% (%) * Estimate D. Polevoy Investment in fixed assets In the beginning of 2004, the investment situation was characterized by a high level of business activity in the construction and investment complex of industries. The rates of growth in investment in fixed assets observed in February of 2004 were the highest since January of 2002. In January through February of this year, the amount of investment in fixed assets increased by 13.4 per cent as compared with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year and made Rub. 255.6 billion.

The major factors facilitating the intensification of investment activity were: increasing rates of growth in output of products and services of the base sectors of the economy; increase in the investment resources of households at the expense of growth in real disposable cash incomes; enhancement of investment potential of the export oriented industries resulting from the improving external market situation. As a result, the situation formed in 2003, which is characterized by the recovery of outpacing rates of investment in fixed assets in comparison with the GDP dynamics and final household consumption, persisted.

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