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Fitch is already assessing how far Gazprom's credit rating will rise if it buys Yuganskneftegaz, the main production arm of Yukos
Fitch, which is one of the three leading international rating agencies, is already assessing how far Gazprom's credit rating will rise if it buys Yuganskneftegaz, the main production arm of Yukos. Fitch experts believe Gazprom will pay an estimated $10.4 billion for Yuganskneftegaz, in an alliance with Rosneft and possibly Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas, by the end of November. This scenario is based on a report by Jeffrey Woodruff. Fitch believes the deal will increase Gazprom's competitiveness and improve its credit ratings, Vedomosti reports. Sergei Kupriyanov, a spokesman for Gazprom's chief executive officer, continues to claim that the gas giant is not going to buy Yukos assets. However, a source close to E.ON Ruhrgas, says that the German concern's top managers have already been invited to take part in the Yuganskneftegaz in an alliance with Gazprom. Investors believe that the Fitch report is a sign of the Gazprom's forthcoming purchase of Yuganskneftegaz. Fitch would hardly risk publishing such findings unless it had authentic information, a trader noted. Analysts working at other rating agencies and investment banks were surprised by the Fitch report. Rating agencies assess the influence of various events on corporate creditworthiness, but never predict developments with regard to a specific company. Fitch has never appraised projected transactions, especially when they are not set in stone. Maxim Moshkov, an analyst with Brunswick UBS, said this Fitch statement highlighted the agency's confidence that there was a more than a 50-50 chance of this happening. After reaching its conclusions, the analyst said, Fitch has decided to inform Gazprom's creditors about the situation
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