Experts confused about the cost of auctioned Lukoil stocks

The cost of the state-owned Lukoil shares is said to be set too low

PRAVDA.Ru has reported before, state-owned shares of the Russian oil giant Lukoil (7.59 percent) are supposed to be sold at an open auction, according to the decree from the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. The shareholding counts 64 million 638 thousand 729 common stocks worth 0.025 rubles at face value.

The federal agency supervising the federal property published the information saying the price for the above-mentioned Lukoil stocks was 36.758 billion rubles. It was also said the stocks could not be sold at a lower price.

Experts, however, believe the normative price of Lukoil shares is underestimated, RIA Novosti reports. “The price is a lot lower than current market quotations. One can hardly say it is an adequate price,” analyst Alexander Razuvayev said. The specialist added the news would exert negative influence both on Lukoil shares and on the stock market on the whole. “I would like to hope the real price formed during the auction will be closer to the market price,” Razuvayev said.

An expert from the investment company Aton also believes the price of the government-owned shareholding is set too low. “The news about the price is not very good for the market. This news has confused investors,” analyst Kaplin said. The selling value for a Lukoil share is 570 rubles, although the current stock rate is 774 rubles per share. Houston-based ConocoPhilips is said to be the main contender for Russia's stake in Lukoil. Another competitor, Kaplin added, is not likely

Maksim Shein, spokesman for a brokerage house in Moscow, shares the opinion of his colleagues. “I do believe the price is low, although I think the shareholding will be sold at market price - $22-25 per share,” Shein said.

Official spokesman for the Federal Property Fund Vladimir Zelentsov told PRAVDA.Ru such an expert opinion was formed without the overall impression about the situation. Zelentsov said the normative price was the low limit for the Russian government. The fund's independent experts will soon announce a different price on the state-owned Lukoil shareholding, which is to be set closer to the market value.

A source in the Russian government previously told RIA Novosti, Russia's stake in Lukoil could be sold at not less than $1.8 billion. “This is the market value of the shareholding today,” an anonymous specialist said.

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Author`s name Olga Savka