A consortium of Alfa Bank and the Merrill Lynch investment bank (USA) won atender held by RAO UES for choosing a consultant for financial andinvestment aspect of reforming the electric energy industry, Alfa Bankreported to RBC. In total, 14 large Russian and Western banks and companiesparticipated in this tender, including the Renaissance Capital investmentgroup, the Troika Dialog investment company, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings,Morgan Stanley and Brunswick UBS Warburg. The contract with the consultantwill be made till the end of 2002 and may be prolonged for another year.The major lines of the consortium's activities as an investment consultantwill be aiding RAO UES to elaborate on the program for reforming theRussian electric energy industry and its specific parts observinginternational standards of corporate governance, and increasing theefficiency of its implementation, a source in Alfa Bank pointed out. Theconsortium is planning to develop recommendations for changing thestructure of the capital created during reforming companies, to developspecific measures for increasing the investment attractiveness of electricenergy facilities, to elaborate on recommendations for estimationprinciples and mechanisms. Commenting on the results of the tender, AlfaBank president Pyotr Aven stressed that collaboration with RAO UES was astrategic line for the bank.At the beginning of August, Alfa Bank acted as a financial consultant forthe sale of the first asset of RAO UES, which was the Solikamsk Heat PowerPlant. It was sold to the Solikamskbumprom paper producer for $14m, whilethe initial price was $11.95m..