State-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft made a steady debut yesterday following its controversial flotation.
Investors welcomed the firm to the London and Moscow stock markets.
The flotation, which valued Rosneft at $79.8 billion (£43.6 billion), was one of the biggest in the world.
It followed a High Court battle with struggling Russian rival Yukos and saw the Rus-sian Government sell 13 per cent of Rosneft to investors, including oil giant BP and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.
Yukos claimed the flotation amounted to money laundering, because the Russian Government allegedly stole Yukos assets during its demise in 2003, which saw owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky sentenced to a lengthy spell in a Siberian prison.
The High Court in London rejected the claims, and, although Yukos said it would appeal, shares, which had fallen from the offer price of $7.55 to $7.39 during conditional trading last week, moved back to $7.50.
In 2005, Rosneft accounted for 16 per cent of Russian oil production and by 2010 it plans to produce two million barrels of crude oil a day, 100 million tonnes a year.
Its flotation, which raised $10.4 billion (£5.65 billion), is Russia's biggest ever public offering and the fifth biggest in the world.
The Kremlin retained 87 per cent of the company but of the shares sold, BP bought around $1 billion (£545 million) worth and Mr Abramovich $300 million (£164 million).
Other investors include Malaysia's Petronas, which acquired $1.1 billion (£602 million), and China's CNPC, which snapped up shares worth $500 million (£274 million).
Rosneft became the third biggest oil producer in Russia after it acquired parts of Yukos at a state auction.
The bulk of Rosneft's value comes from its Yugansk production asset, previously the property of Yukos. Russian tax officials hit Yukos with $33 billion in back tax bills and forced the auction in late 2004, ignoring appeals the action was unfounded and illegal.
"We are going to appeal," said London-based Yukos spokeswoman Claire Davidson. "We remain convinced the asset was stolen."
She said Yukos would argue the judge should consider the case under Britain's Proceeds of Crime Act rather than allowing it as an act of state.
Oil prices were off their recent peak yesterday spurred by hopes diplomacy could contain the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah.
US light sweet crude for August was hovering around $73 a barrel with London Brent crude about $74.
OPEC president Edmund Daukoru said the latest spike, which reached $78.40 a barrel last week, had been "very uncomfortable" and was having a negative impact on the world economy.
Mr Daukoru, Nigeria's top oil official, said OPEC had plenty of spare production capacity.
"If it would have stabilised around the mid-60s, I don't think people would complain too much. We are getting used to that, but the latest shootup is very uncomfortable," Mr Daukoru said. "Clearly the latest flare-up between Israel and Hizbollah is really the reason for the latest spike. It is always unfortunate if we have to address issues outside the power of OPEC."