Analysts on Kukes's letter to YUKOS shareholders

An announcement made by YUKOS chairman Simon Kukes about a re-merger with Sibneft is an attempt to publicly discuss this issue, analysts say. Current uncertainty is a negative factor for YUKOS. Thus, YUKOS management will benefit from any decision on future development of this deal made by the core shareholders of the two companies.

United Financial Group analysts believe that Kukes's letter shows that YUKOS management is ready to exercise pressures against Sibneft. It is too soon to say that YUKOS's chances to seize control of Sibneft have grown and the decision made by the Arbitration court recently confirms this idea, experts believe. The Arbitration Court of Moscow rejected YUKOS's claim to announce its additional shares issue legitimate.

Thus, analysts see two possible scenarios now. If core shareholders of YUKOS back the decision of its management to seize control of Sibneft the existing conflict might escalate and securities of the two companies might fall. On the other hand, this letter may be aimed at formalizing claims of YUKOS shareholders regarding the reversal of the merger. And in this event top-management may consider these claims and go on with the reversal process, analysts say.

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