Source Pravda.Ru

Yukos shares up 11%

Shares of Yukos, a Russian oil giant, were up 11% on MICEX after former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky "offered to surrender all his shares in Yukos" to the state, The Financial Times reported.

The Financial Times has quoted its sources as saying that Mr. Khodorkovsky was ready to surrender all his and other shareholders' shares in Yukos to save the embattled oil group from bankruptcy.

"Executives at Yukos on Tuesday sent a fresh rescue proposal to the government," the newspaper reported, "with Mr Khodorkovsky's approval, suggesting a global settlement for its escalating tax debts in exchange for handing over all or some of the controlling shareholders' stake.

"Mr Khodorkovsky would be willing to give some or all of the 44 per cent stake in Yukos, which he holds with his partners, to the company.

"Yukos would then either hand the shares directly to the authorities or sell them and provide the cash in part settlement of current and future tax claims.

"In exchange, Yukos is seeking the lifting of a court order freezing its bank accounts and the sale of its assets, and three years during which to restructure and fully settle the tax debts, which it estimates are likely to total $7bn-$8bn.

"Mr Khodorkovsky would agree to hand over his shares without an initial payment but, in a contract yet to be negotiated, he is also seeking to gain some reimbursement for the value of his stake from Yukos over the coming three to five years.

"The details are contained in letters sent by Yukos to both Mikhail Fradkov, the prime minister, and Alexei Kudrin, the finance minister."

Last Friday, the company's shares on the RTS dropped an unprecedented 17% after the Russian Finance Ministry denied a statement by Yukos Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko that quoted Mr. Kudrin as saying to the creditors that the company would not go bankrupt.

On the same day, other blue chips dropped too.