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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Krasnoyarsk's Shares Rise Despite Scandal

The Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Factory's share price has risen in spite of a scandal in which the factory's directors deleted a foreign investor from the shareholders' register, analysts said Wednesday.

The seemingly contradictory movement, they said, proves that in Russia's murky stock market, any information is good information.

"As a result of the scandal, brokers learned about a big Western firm's interest in Krasnoyarsk," said Viktor Agroskin, director of the Rinaco Plus brokerage firm. "At least the scandal made information on the amount of investment into the company available to the market."

"Maybe other companies have good foreign investors, too," he said, "but we don't know it. Usually we are fed with rumors."

Reports of the scandal -- in which British metals trading firm Transworld lost most of a 20 percent stake that it had acquired indirectly at a voucher auction -- began to appear about three weeks ago. Since then, the price of Krasnoyarsk shares has risen from $12 to about $15, according to information from Moscow brokerages.

Andrei Serazhetedinov, president of the Iskona-BIS brokerage, said many brokers were influenced by reports that the Aluminum Company of America intended to buy the state's 20 percent stake in the company. The Krasnoyarsk Property Fund, which controls the state's stakes in companies in the Krasnoyarsk region, has indefinitely delayed the public auction of the state's 20 percent share until a study of the company's voucher auction results is ready, said Nikolai Pshenko, chairman of the fund.

"Even if Alcoa had just said 'Let us have a look at Krasnoyarsk,' it would have boosted Krasnoyarsk shares," said Serazhetedinov. "Any rumor is enough either to heat up or to kill a share."

Agroskin said the majority of buyers were portfolio investors who did not intend to play a role in management and thus considered themselves less at risk of being crossed out of the register. Transworld ran into trouble with Krasnoyarsk Aluminum's directors largely because it had tried to influence management decisions, he said.

Led by Krasnoyarsk shares, stocks in two other Russian aluminum majors, Bratsky Aluminum and Sayansky Aluminum factories, have been showing steady growth over the past three weeks, according to information from the Russian Brokerage House.

Share prices of Sayansky Aluminum Factory grew from $21 to $24 per share, while prices for shares of Bratsk, Russia's biggest aluminum factory, increased from $19 to $23 per share, said an official with the Russian Brokerage House, who wanted to remain unnamed.