Yukos' Troubles Hit Russia's Market

Russia's stock market has nosedived amid growing fears that Yukos, Russia's largest oil company by market capitalization, is on the brink of bankruptcy. The benchmark RTS index tanked by 7% in the last week of May after a Moscow court upheld a $3.4 billion back-tax claim against the company. Yukos is appealing, but signs indicate that the courts now always toe the government line in a highly politicized case.

Investors fear that bankruptcy could pave the way for renationalization of Yukos, whose owner and former CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is soon to stand trial on fraud and tax evasion charges. Thanks to growing fears about the company, the RTS has lost 27% of its value since reaching an all-time high in mid-April.

Edited by Rose Brady

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