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15 June 2011

NLMK is upgraded to investment grade by Moody’s

NLMK is pleased to announce that the international rating agency Moody’s has upgraded the company's long-term credit rating from Ba1 to the investment grade level at Baa3. The outlook on the Company’s rating remains stable.

Moody’s, in a press-release published today, highlights the excellence of NLMK’s resilient business model, which has demonstrated sustainable operational and financial performance despite recent market downturn. Moody’s expects that NLMK will maintain its highly competitive production costs globally, benefiting from its efficient vertical integration into iron ore, coke and scrap. In its press-release, Moody’s notes the positive impact of NLMK’s acquisition of the rolling assets of SIF S.A., its JV with Duferco Group, on earnings and the stability of its operations. This acquisition, according to the rating agency’s view, will enhance NLMK’s business profile, providing the Group with better operational diversity and additional rolling capacity. Moody’s believes that this will aid creation of a captive demand for increased steel volumes to be coming on stream in 2011 as a result of the commissioning of a new 3.4 m tpa blast furnace in Lipetsk, Russia.

Ms Galina Aglyamova, NLMK’s CFO, commented: “We welcome NLMK’s credit rating upgrade by Moody’s. This is the third investment level credit rating to be awarded to our Company. This decision reflects the success of NLMK’s consistent efforts aimed at improving our financial position and the quality of business in line with our sustainable growth strategy.”

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NLMK has been ranked amongst five Russian private companies with investment grade status for several years. NLMK is the only company in the Russian steel sector with an investment grade rating from the big three rating agencies. The Company also has an investment grade rating of BBB- with a stable outlook from Standard and Poor’s and an investment grade rating of BBB- with a stable outlook from Fitch.