1 Mar 2010 10:02

Moscow press review for March 1, 2010

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on March 1. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


Six of the 12 members of Transcreditbank 's executive board have sold their shares, the bank said in a statement. Sergei Arsenyev, Boris Zemskov, Alexander Kolpakov, Andrei Kuptsov and Sergei Rusanov have zeroed the debts, and Oleg Panarin has sold more than a third of his stake. Overall, they have surrendered 0.32% of their shares. The nominal value of the stake is 7.4 million rubles, while its market value could reach 100 million rubles, according to Director of NEO Center's Business Appraisal Department Yekaterina Grigoryeva. (Debts Worse than Shares).

The amendments, proposed to the Law on the Turnover of Medicines by the United Russia party, suggest that packaging will have special markings, confirming that the medicines comply with the safety and quality standards, and obliging pharmacies to obtain equipment to check whether the markings are not fake. This will hardly solve the problem, but will most probably push up prices for medicines, market players think. (An Exam for Medicines).

Vnesheconombank, which has a 49.5% stake in the Hungarian air company Malev, has agreed to part with the stake. Almost 95% of the air carrier will go to the Hungarian government, according to an agreement between VEB, the Hungarian government, Malev and its shareholder, AirBridge (in which VEB has a 49.5% stake). Hungary will buy out the air carrier's additional share issue worth 25.2 billion forint ($127 million), the country's Finance Ministry has reported. Part of the stake will be bought for cash and the other part by way of settling Malev's debt to the budget. AirBridge's stake in the air carrier will contract from 99.95% to 5% (Malev Flies Away, see also Kommersant, Page 9. Malev Performs Return Flight).


The government remains undecided on the list of nominees for the board of directors of Rosneft . Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, responsible for the fuel and energy complex, does not think there is any sense in changing the current board of directors. Meanwhile, the list, proposed by the Economic Development Ministry, does not include the current member, head of Surgutneftegaz Vladimir Bogdanov. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will have the final say. (Page 11. Igor Sechin Doesn't Want to Lose Vladimir Bogdanov).

The Baltic countries, following the example of major European consumers, have asked Gazprom to review the structure of prices for Russian gas. Lithuania, which buys Russian gas for $320 per 1,000 cubic meters, has asked Gazprom to deliver gas partly at a spot price of $200 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazprom argues that no changes in the price are envisioned for 2010 in the agreement with Lithuania. Perhaps the Russian gas monopoly's position will be softened by Lithuania's Constitutional Court, which has acknowledged the legality of Gazprom's deal to acquire 37% in the Lithuanian gas pipeline system Lietuvos Dujos. (Page 1, Lithuania Expects European Discounts from Gazprom).

France's Alstom this week is expected to sign a deal to buy a 25% stake in Transmashholding , Russia's major producer of railway machinery. This is expected to give Alstom access to Russian Railways' orders and Transmashholding - access to the French concern's intellectual property. (Page 11, Alstom Buys Into Transmashholding).