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In terms of capitalization, as of March 27, the top five leaders of the domestic stock market were: Gazprom (RUR 7 292.4 bln), Sberbank of Russia Russia (RUR 1 829.1 bln), Rosneft (1 695.3 bln), LUKOIL (RUR 1 452.9 bln), Nornickel (RUR 1 317.5 bln).

Futures and options market In March 2008 the investors activity in the MICEX futures and options market has somewhat increased (nearly by 1.5 per cent) as compared with the preceding month. Thus, in that period the total turnover in the MICEX futures market made approximately RUR 199.27 bln (550 transactions, 8.1 mln of contracts) against about RUR 196.18 bln (708 transactions, 7.5 mln of contracts) in February 2008.

An adverse situation was observed in the RTS futures market, where the investors activity in February has expressly decreased (nearly by 17 per cent) as compared with the preceding month. Thus, in the period from February 29, 2008 through March 27, 2008, the total turnover in the RTS futures and options market amounted to approximately RUR 1 022.1 bln (1823 thousand of transactions, 19.7 mln of contracts) against about RUR 1 238.7 bln (2200 thousand of transactions, 21.1 mln of contracts) in February.

The greatest demand, as before, was for futures: the volume of trading in futures in the period under review was RUR 840.0 bln (1 768 thousand of transactions, 15.4 mln of contracts). Options enjoyed a far lower demand, with the volume of trading at about RUR 182.1 bln (55 thousand of transactions and 4.3 mln of contracts). The highest daily level of trading in the RTS futures market was RUR 70.5 bln (as of March 12), the lowest level was RUR 24.1 bln (as of March 21).

Corporate bond market In March there was noted a volatile dynamics in quotations of securities, traded in the corporate debt market. The negative factor was insufficiency of liquidity in the market. However, though the number of placed LUKoil Tatneft Rosneft Gazprom Russia Mosenergo Rostelecom Sberbank of Gazprom neft GMK NotNikel Surgut neft egas RAO UES Russia issues in March amounted to 24 (against 14 in February), an insignificant growth in the investors activity in the market was noted over the month about 70 per cent as compared with preceding month).

From February 23, 2008 through March 21, 2008 the price index of corporate bonds, traded on MICEXhas decreased by 0.33 points (by 0.30 per cent), as well as the index of the ten most liquid corporate bonds, which downgraded by 0.16 points (- 0.14 per cent) (see Fig. 5). Within that period the total turnover in MICEX corporate bond sector amounted to RUR 50.37 bln with an average daily turnover of RUR 2.80 bln (about RUR 47.96 bln with an average daily turnover of RUR 2.40 bln in the relevant period of February), what demonstrated an insignificant, but still upward trend in the investors activity within the month.

FIG. Dynamics of corporate bond indices 122,ZETBI-Corp ZETBI-Corp120,118,116,114,112,110,108,FIG. Dynamics of the main USA and Russian stock indexes (in % to the date 03.01.2007) 130.00% Dow Jones Industrial Average NASDAQ Composite 120.00% The MICEX Index The RTS Index 110.00% 100.00% 90.00% 80.00% The calculation was based on indices of corporate bonds traded on MICEX. The indices were produced by the Zenit bank. factors behind Russian stock market dynamics In March the Russian financial market dynamics was determined by the situation in the global financial markets, based on the aggravated negative background, i.e., by economic growth rates slow-down in the USA, credit market crisis and panic in the world markets, provoked by the collapse of Bear Stearns, one of the world's largest investment banks. Moreover, further USD decline was noted in March. The negative situation was sustained during the month, even despite the US FRS decision to support liquidity (even to provide emergency credits from the US FRS) and reduce the base rate to 2.5 per cent. The high volatility of the stock markets, lower quotations of the majority of the world indices, coupled with the continued weakening of the US dollar positions urged a large number of investors to move from the stock market to commodity markets, which has contributed to the growth of oil prices in the world markets.

In March the downfall of the majority of the global indices was noted as compared with the indicators of early 2008, as well as against late February 2008. Herewith, while the basic global indices have declined by 2-5 per cent on average (versus the indicators of late February), the emerging markets suffered even higher rates of decline (1-11 per cent) (see Table 1 and Fig. 6).

able Dynamics of international stock market indices Dynamics Dynamics since Data as of March 27, 2008. Ticker Value within the the year beginmonth(%)* ning(%) MICEX (Russia) MICEXINDEXCF 1618.61 -4.20 -14.RTS (Russia) RTSI 2030.13 -2.47 -11.Dow Jones Industrial (USA) Average (USA DJI 12302.46 -2.22 -7.(USA) (USA) NASDAQ Composite (USA) NASD 2280.83 -2.18 -14.S&P 500 (USA) SPX 1325.76 -3.07 -9.FTSE 100 (UK) FTSE 5717.50 -4.16 -11.DAX-30 (Germany) DAX 6578.06 -4.15 -18.CAC-40 (France) CAC 4719.53 -2.99 -15.Swiss Market (Switzerland) SSMI 7264.96 -5.19 -17.Nikkei-225 (Japan) NIKKEI 12604.58 -9.49 -17.Bovespa (Brasil) BUSP 60761.68 -7.31 -4.IPC (Mexico) IPC 29987.05 0.08 1.IPSA (Chile) IPSA 2886.44 -0.60 -5.Straits Times (Singapore) STI 2992.12 -2.67 -14.Seoul Composite (South Korea) KS11 1676.24 -3.45 -11.ISE National-100 (Turky) XU100 40634.89 -11.32 -26.Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Free Index EFM 896.37 -7.07 -10.Note.* Versus indices, valid on February 28, 2008.

Corporate News Gazprom On February 29, 2008 Gazprom and .ON AG have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the joint construction and operation of a gas turbine power plant near the town of Lyubmin (Germany). In accordance with the Memorandum, the Parties will make the final investment decision on the project in 2009. The estimated capacity of the turbine power plant will be 1200 MW. Go-live is scheduled for 2011. To implement the project, "Gazprom" and E. ON will establish a joint venture on a parity basis.

Moreover, on March 18, 2008 OAO "Gazprom" and YPFB, the Bolivian public oil and gas company have signed an agreement on geological exploration works in Bolivia. According to the agreement, exploration works will be performed at Sunchal, Acero and Karauaycho.

LUKOIL OAO "LUKOIL" completed the assessment and an independent audit of oil and gas reserves as of January 1, 2008. According to estimates of auditing company Miller and Lents (USA), as of January 1, 2008, the proven reserves of "OAO Lukoil" hydrocarbons amounted to 20.4 billion barrels, including 15.7 billion barrels oil and 27.9 trillion of cubic feet of gas. The gross total stocks of the company include 100 per cent stocks of subsidiaries and shares in associated companies.

Moreover, "LUKOIL Overseas" (100 per cent subsidiary of OAO " LUKOIL") completed the transaction with ZAO MGNK Soyuzneftegaz on acquisition of 100 per cent NG Holdings Ltd., including Soyuzneftegaz Vostok Limited" company, a Party of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for deposits in Southwest Gissar and Ustyurtsk region in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The amount of the transaction made about USD 580 million. The second Party in PSA is an authorized government body in the National Holding Company "Uzbekneftegaz". The PSA was signed on January 23, 2007 for the term of 36 years and entered into force on April 23, 2007.

senergo On March 6, 2008 OAO "Mosenergo" has presented unaudited interim consolidated financial reporting, prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IAS) for the first nine months of 2007, and a report on the audit results of the consolidated interim financial reporting, performed by ZAO "PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit". Revenue OAO "Mosenergo" from basic operating activities over the nine months of 2007 amounted to RUR 50982 million, what exceeds the level of the same period of 2006 by RUR 4530 million (by 10 per cent). OAO "Mosenergo" operating performance expenditures over the first nine months of 2007 have been increased by EUR 6640 million (by 14 per cent) and amounted to RUR 53581 million. The net losses of OAO "Mosenergo" for the first nine months of 2007 have increased by RUR 1565 million as compared with the indicator of preceding year and amounted to RUR 2172 million.

GMK Norilsk Nickel OOO "The East Sayan nickel company, which represents the interests of OAO" GMK "Norilsk Nickel", has won on March 13, 2008 the auction for the geological survey, exploration and production of minerals in Iysk-Tagul deposit of nickel and copper ores and platinum group metals in Irkutsk region by offering RUR 726 million for the license (against the starting lumpsum price of RUR 110 million rubles. The auction step amounted to RUR 11 million. The area of the licensed site is 15867 square km. The estimated resources (according to the Rosnedr) amount to 7.5 million tons of nickel, 3.5 million tons of copper and 750 tons of platinum group metals. There is an open-space deposit of nickel, copper and platinum Tokty-Oy in IyskTagul region.

R UES of Russia According to the recent information, within the two months of 2008, RAO UES of Russia power plants have increased the electricity production by 7.8 per cent against the relevant period of 2007 (from 129.8 to 139.9 billion kWh). The total consumption of electricity in Russia nation-wide within the past two months has increased by 6.5 per cent and amounted to 191.8 billion kWh.

On March 17, 2008 the transaction was completed on the sale of 49 per cent equity in OAO "Kolenergosbyt" (owned by RAO "UES of Russia"), performed through "ISTRA" e-commerce system. The transaction price amounted to RUR 450 million.

NK Rosneft On March 14, 2008 "OAO NK Rosneft" has redeemed the second tranche of the short-term loan in the amount of USD 5.2 billion, attracted by the company in early 2007 to finance the acquisition of the new assets. The loan was repaid with the help of their own assets, as well as the 5-year syndicated credit in the amount of USD 3 billion from a group of international banks. Currently OAO NK Rosneft" has refinanced and repaid USD 5.6 billion out of USD 5.8 billion of the short-term obligations due in the first quarter of 2008. Herewith, USD 2.6 billion was completely repaid from free cash flow. The balance of USD 190 million will be repaid before the end of the first quarter with the company own assets as well.

Rostelecom On March 18, 2008 Standard & Poor's (S & P) international rating agency has upgraded the forecast rating of OAO "Rostelecom" from "stable" to "positive". The long-term credit rating of OAO Rostelecom is confirmed as "BB-".

Tatneft In January-February 2008 the volume of oil, produced by OAO "Tatneft", amounted to 4 275 031 tons, i.e. 101,9 per cent versus the indicator of the relevant period of 2007; plan for the headway is fulfilled at 105.3per cent, driftage was 114,9 thousand meters; maintenance works are completed at 1557 wells and major repairs are made at 409 wells.

On March 17, 2008 OAO "Tatneft" has disclosed the information on the beginning of an international arbitration against Ukraine in connection with the illegal forced seizure of Kremenchug refinery (AO "Ukrtatnafta") in October 2007. The control package of its shares are owned by Tatneft and associated shareholders.

Investments in Real Sector O. Izryadnova Investment situation at the beginning of 2008 was formed under the influence of trends evolved during the last three years. It was increasing investment demand from transport, extractive industries, power and so cial sector that had the biggest impact on the investments dynamics. Increase in investments in fixed assets over January-February of the current year was equal to 20.2%. Existing trends sustaining, expected investment in fixed assets growth in 2008, according to the estimation of IET, will be 19.4-20.0%.

In 2007 the volume of investments in fixed assets was equal to RUR 6418.7 bln, increasing by 21.1% as compared with 13.7% in the previous year. High growth of investment demand was supported by the growth in internal market significance in the formation of economy dynamics. Peculiar feature of 2007 was increase in investment in fixed assets share in the GDP up to 19.7%, which was the maximum value of this index over the whole period of reforms.

259,214,188,170,169,158,149,148,139,132,129,129,121,117,115,100 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Investments in fixed assets GDP Source: Federal State Statistics Service Fig. 1 GDP and Investments in Fixed Assets Growth Rates in 2000-2007, as percentage to Increase in economy and business revenues defined dynamic expansion of the demand for capital goods.

Focus of producers on production reconstruction and modernization caused increase in demand for machinery and equipment in nearly all spheres of economic activities. The increase in proportion of expenditures for machinery, equipment and transport vehicles was observed in the structure of investments in fixed assets.

Whereas in 2001 the share of investments in machinery, equipment and transport vehicles was 35% of the total volume of investments in fixed assets, in 2007, according to the preliminary estimation, their proportion exceeded 37.7%.

Under existing growth rates of the domestic machine-building, investment expenditure dynamics, characteristics of the fixed assets reproduction the influence of import machinery and equipment supplies at the internal market increased.

In 2007 investments in fixed assets growing by 21.1%, machinery and equipment production by 20.9%, transport vehicles and equipment by 15.7%, electric equipment by 14.8%, machinery and equipment import went up by 1.55 times. Investments for purchase of import equipment in the total amount of investments in machinery, equipment and transport vehicles in 2007 comprised RUR 308.5 bln or 17.8%.

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