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HydroOGK, Federal Grid Co. to offer stock to investors in 2008

 Russia's federal hydroelectric power company HydroOGK and the Federal Grid Company will offer their shares to investors in 2008, the head of the national electricity monopoly said on Thursday.

"HydroOGK will enter the stock market in March 2008 and the Federal Grid Company will appear on the market a little later, in August," said Anatoly Chubais, the chief executive of Unified Energy System of Russia (UES).

The Russian electric power sector has undergone radical changes in recent years, aimed at increasing the efficiency of power plants and developing the industry by attracting investment. During the restructuring process, specialized structures have been created in place of the old vertically integrated companies.

By the end of the reforms, potentially competitive units of the industry - generation, sales and repair companies - will become mainly private and will compete with each other. However, natural monopoly functions - power transmission and dispatching - will remain state-controlled.

Chubais said the capitalization of companies to be divested from UES in the process of the monopoly's reorganization will total about $79 billion after July 1, 2008, when the power sector reform is over. The market capitalization of holding company UES stood at $53 billion as of November 14, 2007.

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