Shares of the Russian natural gas holding Gazprom increased almost 24 percent since January 27, 2003 amid rising prices for exported gas and announcements about the upcoming liberalization on the market of Gazprom shares. In particular, the Russian government was going to allow trading Gazprom shares on the MICEX exchange. According to a stock analyst who spoke to an RBC correspondent, Gazprom shares are likely to enjoy traditional growth this spring. He forecasted that the company's shares would surpass the previous year's record high and hit RUR 40-45 per share.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.