International Business

Lukoil Becomes First Russian ADR: Russia's largest oil producer began offering dollar-denominated shares, or American depositary receipts, on U.S. over-the-counter markets. Each ADR buys an investor four ruble-denominated Lukoil shares. U.S. investors can now buy Lukoil shares through a stockbroker without negotiating Russia's often-perplexing stock market, where the only sure way to prove ownership of a stock is to check registration ledgers at a company's headquarters. Investors who buy Lukoil U.S. shares instead rely on the Bank of New York to ensure trades are properly executed. On Wednesday, shares sold for $21 each at Salomon Bros. Inc. Although Mosenergo, a Moscow-based electric utility, sold $22.5 million in global stock to large institutional investors in October, Lukoil is the first Russian stock to be widely traded in the United States.

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