Source Pravda.Ru

RTS index forecasted to add 15% in 2004

The RTS index will grow by 15 percent to about 630 to 650 points in 2004, Troika Dialog president Pavel Teplukhin forecasted at a news conference today. He added that the index would surge to 700 points, according to an optimistic scenario, and it might even drop, according to "the most catastrophic" forecast.

He said that shares of Gazprom, RAO UES subsidiaries (the Kostroma and Stavropol hydroelectric power plants) and Transneft would be the leaders. He specified that the expected gain in stocks of electric energy companies was due to restructuring of RAO UES.

Teplukhin mentioned several factors that promoted growth on the Russian stock market, including the expected increase in Russian ratings by Standard&Poor's (S&P) and Fitch IBCA. This increase in investment ratings "is inevitable like snow in winter", he said. Uncertainty concerning the future of the government after the presidential elections and a possible decline in world oil prices will promote decrease on the Russian stock market.

The Troika Dialog head reiterated that in 2003 shares of metal companies had led the stock market (a 160-percent jump). Shares of mobile operators have added 112 percent. They are followed by electric energy companies (90 percent) and fixed line communications companies (50 percent). Oil and gas stocks are the fifth with a 40-percent gain.

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