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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 Russian Firms Off FT500 List

Three Russian companies have been removed from a list of the world's 500 largest companies compiled annually by the Financial Times, as growth in the value of domestic companies over the past year failed to keep pace with those in the rest of the world.

The nickel manufacturer Norilsk Nickel, the oil company Yukos and the utility Unified Energy Systems are no longer on the list, which measured companies by their market capitalization, or the value of their shares, on March 31.

The U.S. giants General Electric, ExxonMobil and Microsoft top this year's rankings.

Over the past year, foreign and domestic investors have become unsettled by a spate of government demands for back taxes from companies, by a lack of commitment from the government to reforms and by the experiences of Yukos, including the conviction of the company's former boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky earlier this month.

The mobile phone company VimpelCom and the joint Russian-British oil venture TNK-BP were just two of the companies presented with large back tax claims that were later revised downward.

Yukos' market capitalization slid to $1.26 billion on March 31, down from $29.42 billion one year earlier, according to the FT survey.

Four Russian companies that avoided the political storm of the past year remain on the list of the world's most valuable companies. Gazprom rose to become the world's 58th-most valuable company, with its shares worth $67.94 billion at the end of March. Surgutneftegaz, LUKoil and MTS also remained on the list.

The FT survey coincides with a report from the Fitch ratings agency. The report, which was released on Monday, said $33 billion left Russia in 2004, a fact Fitch described as "a symptom of the hostile investment climate."

"Not only is it unusually large, but it is also rising," it said about the amount of cash leaving the country. "Last year's total was the highest since 1997, when Russians headed for the exits before the 1998 default and devaluation," Edward Parker, senior director in the Sovereign Group at Fitch, wrote in the report.