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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Makes MT Index Comeback

Russia's biggest company, Gazprom, will return to the Moscow Times Index on Wednesday after a three-year absence.

The MT Index Advisory Board, made up of prominent traders and analysts, voted March 12 to include domestic Gazprom shares in the index due to strong demand for its stock on the Russian market.

"We couldn't ignore Gazprom any more," saod Gary Peach, of Skate financial services, who is also a member of the advisory board. "Now Unified Energy Systems, LUKoil and Gazprom are 60 percent of the market [in terms of volume]."

Daily trade volumes in Gazprom on the Moscow Stock Exchange have jumped from about $100,000 when they made their debut on the exchange on July 1, 1997 to an average of about $10 million in March 1998.

Gazprom was excluded from the MT Index on July 3, 1995. "The reason was the lack of a secondary market in Russia due to its very complicated organization," said Anton Lobanov of Skate financial services, which calculates the MT Index.

Barriers such as a rule that gave the company first right to buy shares initially prevented significant trading in Gazprom shares. However, after the Moscow exchange was allowed to trade shares without offering them first to Gazprom, trading volumes began to grow.

In addition to Gazprom, the advisory board voted to include another six companies in the index.

Sibneft replaced its daughter company Noyabrskneftegaz. Five regional energy and telecommunication companies, which were successfully traded during last six months -- Rostovenergo, Kolenergo, Kubanenergo, Tyumentelecom and Bashinformsvyaz -- were included.

Shares in Inkombank, the metal company NLMK, shipping companies FESCO and Novoship, and oil producers Vareganneftegaz and Kondpetroleum, which were not in demand, were removed.

"Now no companies whose shares are traded only over the counter are left in the index," Lobanov said. "All prices will come from the real trading places."