Yukos shares and other blue chips continue to tumble

Yukos shares continue to tumble, which has caused a drop in blue chips.

Today Yukos shares dropped 10.32% to 106.45 rubles on MICEX, shares of Russia's Unified Energy Systems fell 0.96% to 6.933 rubles, Surgutneftegaz shares fell 0.19% to 18.97 rubles, Mosenergo shares fell 1.42% to 2.366 rubles, and LUKoil shares fell 0.06% to 781.5 rubles.

On RTS, Yukos shares plunged 13.53% to $3.675, and LUKoil shares fell 0.56% to $26.8.

According to experts, this came after the Justice Ministry announced that Yukos had been banned from making monthly payments and performing regular operations.

"Bailiffs did not decide on whether to give Yukos permission to make monthly payments or perform regular operations," said a report from the PR center of the Russian Justice Ministry.

"The explanations that Yukos received from the bailiff are not based on the law and have therefore been withdrawn," the press release said.

"All the financial means that the company has and will receive will be arrested and transferred to the budget as settlement of its debt," the Justice Ministry said.

The Justice Ministry sees Yukos's media statements about bailiffs unfreezing its accounts as "part of the debtor's campaign to press and blackmail federal bodies in a bid to prevent the implementation of the court ruling to collect back taxes."

The report said that the bailiffs have charged Yukos over 22 billion rubles. In regard to preparations to sell Yukos's subsidiary, Yuganskneftegaz, the Justice Ministry noted that all the arrangements had been made to evaluate this package of shares.

The press release also said that bailiffs arrested Yukos financial and production assets, which are valued at 31 billion rubles, in the first days after a court ruled to charge Yukos over 99 billion rubles. Bailiffs gave instructions to arrest Yukos property in 20 regions of the Russian Federation.

"Moreover, 89 collection orders havebeen issued for 11 banks to write off financial assets from the company's accounts," the report said.

Previously, the company issued a press release that said Yukos had received confirmation from the Russian Justice Ministry that it could finance its regular operations from its bank accounts.

"The fact that bailiffs reversed their decision to allow Yukos to make monthly payments from its accounts less than 24 hours after it was issued indicates how unpredictable the executives' actions can be. Attempts to accuse the company of 'pressure and blackmailing in relation to federal bodies' do not sound very convincing because the company did receive the document with explanations from the bailiff," NetTrader expert Vadim Kotikov said.

He said yesterday's events confirmed that none of the so-called "positive" news about Yukos can be considered as a good reason for purchasing Yukos stock. The fluctuations of the other blue chips have shown that the Russian market is still dependent on Yukos, the expert added.

Sergei Suverov, head of the analytical department of the Zenit bank, doubts that plans to stop Yukos operation will happen, as world oil prices and stability on the European fuel market depend on them.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team