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Crude prices surged this week, helping to lift the energy-dominated Russian Trading System (RTS) to a five-year high of 459.57 points on 19 May. But profit-taking took hold later in the week and the index ended only 1.2pc up at 442 points.
Globally, stock markets fared less well--reacting nervously to suggestions by US Treasury head John Snow that the US's strong dollar policy was under revision. There is some nervousness among Russian crude producers that exports will be hit hard by the rouble's appreciation against the dollar.
Yukos shot up dramatically early on in the week before some disappointing 2002 results dragged it back to earth. The firm has not yet revealed whether it favours a share buy-back or a dividend ahead of its merger with Sibneft, but Eric Mielke of investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein says the bulk of the surplus cash (possibly as much as $5bn) is most likely to be returned to investors in the form of dividends. This would allow some cash to be taken out of the company before the Sibneft merger.
The firm also announced that it will change the ratio of shares to American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) from 15:1 to 4:1 from 23 May, as a …