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08/21/1998 14:57:24 Russian shares end down 5.56 pct in tiny volume

MOSCOW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Russian shares ended with a more

than five percent loss on Friday, with volumes again tiny as

investors kept clear of the market amid the prolonged financial

crisis and a planned restructure of the debt market.

The leading RTS1-Interfax share index <.IRTS> ended down

5.56 percent at 81.76 with traded volume at $4.2 million while

the Reuters Composite index <.RRC1> closed with a 6.61 percent

loss at 55.71.


The market has suffered a total loss of confidence amid the

general financial crisis which Russia is suffering.

Analysts say investors will only begin to think about

returning to the market once they see the conditions of a debt

swap on Monday, under which the government plans to force a

conversion of short-term debt into longer-term paper, which will

be cheaper for the state to repay.

Analysts say the fate of all Russian markets, including

shares, virtually depends on the debt deal as they need to see

that all investors are treated fairly with no discrimination

against non-Russian investors.

Most leading shares suffered with UES <EESR.RTS> down to

$0.051 from $0.057 although oil major LUKOil <LKOH.RTS> managed

to rise by the close to $5.05 from $5.0.

((Patrick Lannin, Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520

moscow.newsroom@reuters.com))

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