16 Sep 2010 10:39

Moscow press review for September 16, 2010

MOSCOW. Sept 16 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on September 16. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


Transneft and Ziyavudin Magomedov's Summa Capital are buying a controlling stake in the Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, or NCSP . The deal will be carried out at two stages. The NCSP will first buy 100% in the Primorsk Oil Terminal from Transneft and Summa Capital, and then the partners will buy a controlling stake in the NCSP itself. The value of both deals has not been disclosed. Proceeding from the NCSP capitalization as of September 15, the controlling stake should cost $1.5 billion. Upon the completion of the deal, Transneft and Summa Capital will control oil transshipment for export at two largest ports in the European part of Russia ('Sum Of Two Seas', see also Kommersant, page 1, 'Transneft To Moor In Novorossiisk').

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin once again asked Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for preferences for Rosneft in the form of discounted export duties at the Vankor field until at least 2014, Vedomosti has learned. If the request is granted, Rosneft could save about $8 billion. The discounted duties are currently applied to 22 fields in Eastern Siberia, but the Finance Ministry has long insisted that at least Vankor, the largest of these fields, be developed on general terms starting 2011 ('Request for $8 Billion').

The volume of exchange trade in oil products in Russia is currently close to a level that the Federal Antimonopoly Service dreamed of. Over 10% of fuel consumed in Russia is sold through exchanges now. However, the FAS is not completely satisfied. A FAS official said that, while growth in the volume of trade is a good thing in itself, the seller of oil products is always well-known, which violates the important principle of trade anonymity and obstructs transparent and impartial price formation ('Exchange Record').

Statistical growth of the Russian economy in 2010 will be within 3.5%-3.7% and real growth within 4%, said Russian Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach. The Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) recently revised GDP trends in the past several years and in the 1st quarter of 2010 and adjusted growth in the 1st quarter of 2010 to 3.1% from 2.9%. As a result, economy growth in the 1st half of 2010 was adjusted up to 4.2% from 4%, while that in the 2nd quarter remained the same, 5.2%. Klepach believes these figures are underestimated, which will eventually result in a lower yearly growth estimate ('Not Enough').


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which owns 10% in the Lenta retail chain, plans to audit the company's financial condition in the past three months, a period during which it was in fact governed simultaneously by two CEOs, i.e. Sergei Yushchenko, who was appointed to the job by Lenta's principal shareholder August Meyer (owns 40.6%), and Jan Dunning representing interests of TPG Capital's and VTB Capital (30.8%) (page 13, 'Lenta To Be Laid Out In Banks').

Renaissance Capital and VTB Capital, which organized a placement for Russian Sea, the domestic seafood producer, dramatically erred in their forecast of the company's business. Russian Sea's financial statement for the first half of 2010 published on Wednesday showed net loss of 472.9 billion rubles and a negative EBITDA of 367.8 million rubles, while investment bankers had promised growth of all indexes. Experts believe this poor performance is a result of the company's pricing policy: while the demand for its products was declining, it struggled to maintain the sales and in fact traded at a loss (page 13, 'Russian Sea Ebbs').