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Russian stocks are in confusion
Experts put the lack of active demand down to non-transparency of the Yugansk auction, as the information about the buyer remains a mystery. Yuganskneftegaz was sold on Sunday, December 19 by Baikal Finance Group, which purchased 76.79% of Yukos' core asset. Major Russian oil and gas companies are denying links to the victor of the auction. Representatives of Yugansk's new owner refused to participate in a press conference summing up the auction. For the moment, reporters know the legal address of Baikal Finance Group, but failed to find the company there. Experts believe that the lack of clarity as to whose interests the buyer represents keeps Russian stocks at the same levels and prevents them from joining in a common trend. As of 10.30 am Moscow time (at the opening), MICEX index dropped 0.105% to 496.07 points on yesterday's closing index. The shares of Norilsk Nickel, Lukoil and Surgutneftegaz rose 0.08%, 0.57% and 1.65%, while Russia's UES shares dropped 0.14% respectively. Yukos' shares were suspended from MICEX by the Federal Service for Financial Markets at 4.46 pm Moscow time on Friday, December 17, after they dropped 19% below the opening bids. Alexander Potavin, the chief analyst with NetTrader.ru, believes that the auction has not clarified the prospects of Yugansk or Yukos, therefore Monday is likely to see a haphazard trend at the Friday levels. Analysts of the Olma investment company say the Yugansk sale may intensify Russian securities sales by Western investors, which will bring stocks down on the Russian stock market on Monday. Meanwhile, Yukos shares on RTS have dropped nearly 10% after the company's status deteriorated in the wake of the Yugansk sale on Sunday, experts note. Currently, Yukos' shares on RTS cost about $0.67.
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