Shares in Federal Grid Plummet 30%

Shares in the Federal Grid Company, a successor to former power monopoly Unified Energy System, dropped 30 percent from their opening price on the first day of trading Wednesday.

The company, which operates the national power grid and holds some leftover UES assets on behalf of the government, is expected to become one of the power sector's new blue-chip stocks. It is the first in a series of state firms to hit the market since UES's July 1 breakup.

But the stock took a widely expected dive in the first hours of trading as shareholders cashed out of some of their stock, which was traded only over the counter in the volatile weeks between the breakup of UES and the launch of trade Wednesday. The shares fell 14.9 kopeks, or 30 percent, to 35.5 kopeks on its first day of trading on the MICEX exchange. Its starting price was 50 kopeks.

Former shareholders of UES received a basket of pro rata stakes in 23 of its subsidiaries, including shares of the Federal Grid Co., in which the state will maintain a 75 percent stake.