Gazprom stock's market value to increase tenfold

Liberalization of the stock market of Russia's Gazprom gas giant will be announced before July, Boris Fyodorov, a member of the concern's board of directors, told RIA Novosti Friday. (Boris Fyodorov earlier was Russia's vice premier and finance minister - Ed.) In his words, the increase of the state-held package of shares to 51% and the beginning of liberalization will be announced. "This is inevitable," Mr. Fyodorov said.

In his opinion, both Russian shareholders and owners of American depositary receipts will gain from the liberalization of Gazprom's stock market.

Mr. Fyodorov said 500,000 Russian nationals are waiting for this liberalization. They are private shareholders of this company. "They are waiting for the company to start bringing profit," he said.

The market value of Gazprom shares must total not $40 billion, as it is now, but $300-400 billion, Mr. Fyodorov said.

In the beginning of this week, Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref also said that liberalization of Gazprom's market of shares will take place and thus the double market of the concern's stock will be eliminated.

Vice Premier Alexander Zhukov spoke for the liberalization too. "We will try to transfer to a common market of Gazprom shares as soon as possible," Mr. Zhukov said.

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