Gazprom Neft Press Office:
Moscow, 30th December 1999: Sibneft President Eugene Shvidler has indicated that Sibneft is preparing to issue a level III ADR in the year 2000, "subject to market conditions." A final decision will be taken later in the year. Sibneft management shareholders are playing a key role in the strategic review process.
As part of the preparation for the possible launch of a Level III ADR, and as a prelude to fulfilling the company's pledge to further open up the share register in 2000, Sibneft managers have transferred a parcel of shares, equal to approximately 60% of the company's equity, into the professional nominee shareholding services of three leading European banks, ING, Deutsche Bank and ABN AMRO.
Eugene Shvidler said, " Sibneft has led Russia with international standards of financial disclosure and reporting, and a new corporate governance charter in line with European best practice. So it is logical that Sibneft should now be moving to break new ground with greater shareholder disclosure. Placing the majority of our stock into the hands of professional nominee companies is an important landmark on the way to reaching that goal. This general re-organisation has also involved some rationalisation of the underlying management shareholdings, effected through MICEX, but the over all beneficial ownership remains essentially unchanged."
The new shareholder register is as follows:
* Total nominee holding that includes certain shares held by non-management shareholders, that constitute part of the "free float".
Mr Shvidler concluded, "One of our key corporate successes of 1999 was to see a substantial rise in Sibneft's freefloat, which rose from less than 3% in January 1999 to over 11% now. We look forward to increasing this further in 2000. We will be watching the markets very carefully through the year and will be ready to launch our Level III ADR, should we judge it to be in the best interests of the company and shareholders to do so."Tags: shareholders