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MRSK, Federal Grid Advance as Kurbatov Joins Energy Ministry

OAO MRSK Holding and Federal Grid Co. rallied on speculation the appointment of MRSK’s deputy general director as deputy energy minister will spur power-industry reforms that benefit the companies.

MRSK, the country’s largest electricity distribution company, jumped 10 percent to 1.750 rubles by the close in Moscow, the biggest gain on the Micex Index and the biggest jump since August 2009. Federal Grid, the high-voltage transmission monopoly, jumped 5.5 percent to 19.28 kopeks, the most since June 6. Federal Grid has lost 39 percent this quarter and MRSK has fallen 47 percent, the worst quarterly performers on the Micex.

Mikhail Kurbatov said his new role as deputy to Alexander Novak will make him “useful” for the industry, according to an interview with RBC Daily published today.

“Kurbatov’s appointment may be viewed as a positive sign,” Dmitry Bulgakov, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in Moscow, said by phone. “During the RAO UES reorganization he worked at the Economy Ministry supervising reform, so we think that he may favour more market-oriented decisions in his new capacity.”

The MSCI Russia Utilities Index gained 3.2 percent, having declined 40 percent this quarter.

-- Editors: Peter Branton, Robert Valpuesta

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