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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UES Releases Information Guide for Investors




National power monopoly Unified Energy Systems on Monday unveiled a new information guide designed to give its shareholders and potential investors accurate financial information about its numerous local subsidiaries.


The guidebook, titled "Electric Energy in Russia," sells for $690 and contains 763 pages that include information on the financial performance of individual subsidiaries in 1998 and the first half of 1999, as well as analyses of industry trends, ownership structure and corporate bonds.


It was prepared by Expert RA, a Russian rating agency affiliated with the business magazine of the same name.


The book is part of a campaign by UES to project a more investor-friendly image in order to secure more outside investment.


At the end of last year, UES released an audit of its books conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and has staged more press conferences to combat criticism that it was too secretive.


Speaking to a round table audience of brokers, analysts and journalists, Yakov Urinson, a UES board member and former economics minister, hailed the book as proof that UES is making good on its long-standing promises to become more transparent and investor-friendly.


"Without investment, we will not be able to develop our capital-intensive business," he said. "Without the trust of investors, there will be no development, and without transparency, there will be no trust."


Dmitry Gryshankov, director of Expert RA, said the project was complicated by the secrecy and chaotic bookkeeping practices endemic to the power industry.


"We quickly discovered that [with the available information] it would be impossible for us to make a rating, or anything even approximating a rating.


"It was roughly comparable to the way information about military secrets in aviation or missile construction were kept 10 years ago," Gryshankov said.


Individual UES subsidiaries used widely varying bookkeeping methodologies and lacked any common system of reporting technical data, such as generating capacity, he added, making any accurate comparisons of subsidiaries' performance impossible, he said.


"About two-thirds of our work was just doing the job of the Russian Statistics Agency, while only a third was actual analytical work," Gryshankov said.