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Gazprom may be a hard nut to crack
31.05.2005 00:00

Rosimushchestvo, Russias Property Management Agency, reported on the unexpectedly high evaluations made by Morgan Stanley and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.
       Morgan Stanley, consulting the government, put the 10.74% stake in gas giant at $8,4-9,9bn, with $3,3 to 3,9 for a share. Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, doing the same job for Gazprom, came up with an estimate $10-11.5bn, and $3,94 to 4,52 for a share.
       The share prices are well above the market value of $2.84. If purchased for this price, the margin share package required for the state to gain full control would cost some $7.2bn. Earlier, sources in the government indicated the price would be around $6bn, rumors downing Russian companies quotations at the exchange.
       Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein had extensive access to Gazproms documentation and is confident of the appraisal because it used standard methods. The bank believes the market will soon catch up with the estimate. Morgan Stanley refused to offer any comments.
       Meanwhile, Gazprom says the results of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein are justified. Most Russian business analysts are dubious of this report but respond positively to Morgan Stanleys estimate. Aton puts each Gazproms share at $2.96, Troika Dialog at $3.25, Unified Financial Group and Brokerkreditservice would pay $3.29, while Renaissance Capital, UralSib and Alfa Bank are ready to offer more $3.8, $3.93 and $3.95 respectively.
       So, the price of the deal is not settled. Despite the optimistic appraisals, the government will hardly follow the benchmark, warn the experts. Furthermore, officials have some other pricing factors up their sleeve in an effort to minimize the damage to the market and, nonetheless, go as economically as possible.


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