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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shares Up, IMF Hope Lifts Market

Share prices continued to rise this week, boosted by strong signals that Russia will soon receive a $6.3 billion standby loan from the International Monetary Fund, brokers and analysts said Friday.

The MT index rose 0.95 points Friday to 119.44, while the dollar-adjusted index showed a 0.11 point upturn to 57.75.

Advancers outpaced decliners by 29 to 12 in the ruble-based quoted prices of the 50 companies listed in the MT index, with 9 stocks unchanged.

"Although the rise slowed by the end of the week, a general upward tendency is evident," said Andrei Kuk, a dealer with the Rinako Plus brokerage house.

Rostelekom registered one of the biggest gains this week, rising from last Friday's 8,800 rubles to 11,400 rubles a share.

The oil sector also registered strong growth, with LUKoil Holding shares jumping from 110,730 rubles last week to 122,760 rubles on news that the company plans to convert its various share issues into a single unified stock. LUKoil also plans to float 15 percent of its stock on Western markets and is discussing a $700 million loan with Japanese trade house Mitsui & Co. Ltd on reactivating idle wells.

Aluminum stocks also registered growth, attributed to news that Kaiser Aluminum Corp. plans to invest $300 million in Krasnoyarsk Aluminum, analysts said. Sayansky Aluminum gained 9.74 points climbing to 88,350 rubles, Bratsk Aluminum gained 5 points closing at 106,000 rubles. Krasnoyarsk Aluminum closed at 82,690 rubles compared to 81,940 rubles last week.