Moscow press review for January 27, 2010
MOSCOW. Jan 27 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on January 27. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.
Gazprom has halved daily gas supplies to the Krasnodarskaya power and heating plant owned by Lukoil to 2 million cubic meters, a Lukoil representative told Vedomosti. The plant is currently increasing the use of fuel oil, which is nearly three times as expensive as gas, to comply with its obligations on supplies of heat and power to consumers. Novoroscement and the Sochinskaya thermal power plant are also receiving less gas and gas supplies to the Belorechensk Mineral Fertilizers owned by EuroChem have also been reduced since Tuesday, a EuroChem spokesperson said. Gas supplies have been cut because gas consumption by households and housing and utilities companies in certain areas exceeded the gas transportation system's capacity due to extremely cold weather, a Gazprom source said. The gas monopoly has not reduced gas supplies in other regions but only recommended that consumers not take more gas than is stipulated by their contracts, the source said ('Gas Frozen', see also Kommersant, page 11, 'Gas Cut for Krasnodar Territory').
Gazprom is losing clients because of problems facing the Hungarian gas trader Emfesz. Russian First Deputy Prime Minister and Gazprom Board Chairman Viktor Zubkov might bring up this issue at a session of a Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental commission in Budapest on Thursday ('Returning Market').
Atomredmetzoloto's attempts to merge with Canada's Khan Resources have virtually failed, as the later has found another partner - the Mongolian government ('Bad Luck in Mongolia').
UC Rusal's indicative share quotations in Hong Kong dropped by 6% before the trading compared to the offering price: the aluminum holding managed to hold an IPO before the correction on stock markets ('Indicator Looking Down').
Spyker Cars controlled by Vladimir Antonov has reached an agreement with General Motors (GM) on buying Saab Automobile AB for $74 million. John Smith, the GM group's vice-president of corporate planning and alliances, described the deal as "great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM." The transaction is to close in mid-February, and "previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction," it said ('Saab Will Survive').
A number of Russian companies seeking new capital are actively planning IPOs. Dozens of issuers are going to sell their shares on stock exchanges, among them the retail network Victoria and the Russian Sea group ('Spring of Issuers').
Russia's Gazprom has again joined the top 10 largest companies operating on energy markets, according to PFC Energy's annual rating list of major world energy companies in terms of market capitalization. PetroChina has regained the highest position by replacing last year's leader, ExxonMobil. Investors are returning to emerging markets, which they viewed as too risky last year, experts say (page 11, 'Gazprom Returns to Energy Ten').
The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry have made the procedure of assembly of foreign cars in Russia stricter: major foreign automakers will no longer be entitled to preferences in importing components for cars assembled in Russia by the CKD method without planning to switch to their full-cycle production in the future. However, the new measure will apply only to those who have not yet started their projects in Russia, i.e. Hyundai, Peugeot-Citroen and Mitsubishi (page 9, 'Local Outcome').
Aeroflot has lost a major private shareholder, as the airline's Board of Directors approved the purchase of a 25.8% stake in it from Alexander Lebedev's National Reserve Corporation for $400 million on Tuesday. Aeroflot may exchange the shares for Russian Technologies' aviation assets, which were to be included in the Rosavia holding. However, even if Aeroflot does not reach such an agreement with Russian Technologies, experts believe the purchase of the stake from the National Reserve Company will still be a profitable deal for the airline (page 1, 'Alexander Lebedev Flies Out of Aeroflot').