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20 May 2011

Fitch upgrades NLMK to ВВВ-

NLMK is pleased to announce that the international rating agency Fitch has upgraded the company's long-term credit rating from BB+ to the investment grade level at BBB- with a stable outlook.

Fitch, in a press-release published today, highlights NLMK’s progress in balancing its 40% crude steel growth and re-rolling production capacities through acquisition of the rolling assets of Steel Invest and Finance, previously 50/50 JV with Duferco. Fitch states that the acquisition decreases excessive exposure to the volatile semi-finished steel products market and ensures additional value to be delivered from its efficient upstream operations. Additionally, better sector exposure and geographic diversification contributes to the stability of a company’s operational performance in future. Fitch positively views NLMK’s commitment to continuing with its conservative financial strategy with a target Net debt/EBITDAR ratio below 1.0x and following good corporate governance practices compared with other Russian peers
Ms Galina Aglyamova, NLMK’s CFO, commented: “We are very pleased by the decision of Fitch to grant NLMK a BBB- rating. This decision represents a favorable outside assessment of the Company and the strategic, operational and organizational progress that we have made in recent years. We believe that this also confirms the sustainability of our business model and our ability to maintain a resilient performance through the cycle”.

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NLMK has been ranked amongst five Russian private companies with investment grade status for several years. The Company also has an investment grade rating of BBB- with a stable outlook from Standard and Poor’s.