Speculators profiting on Yukos case

What once was a most respectable blue chip on the Russian stock market has now become an outcast maybe good only for one-day speculations, Vedomosti writes. Investors are trying to stay away from Yukos, while speculators are keen on profiting from 10% leaps in its quotations depending on the developments in the company's conflict with the authorities.

"As soon as news agencies report anything negative about Yukos, its shares go up for sale," says Dmitry Kulyashenets, chief trader with Renaissance Capital. However, although everyone remembers that after Vladimir Putin's recent statement to the effect that the authorities were not interested in seeing Yukos go bankrupt the oil major's shares soared by 35%, many players buy stock back after the trading session, fixing the profit and hedging losses in case it starts growing next day, Kulyashenets explains.

The regulators are not protected from such conduct. A ban on trading in Yukos shares would encroach on investors' rights, believes Oleg Vyugin, chairman of the Federal Financial Reserves Service. "Maybe somebody wants to sell Yukos shares at any price," he says. "The most we can do if its shares plummet is to suspend trading."

At the same time Vyugin is positive that the fundamental performance of the Russian market remains strong and "will be looking upwards till the end of the year," Vedomosti points out.