24 Nov 2009 10:30

Moscow press review for November 24, 2009

MOSCOW. November 24(Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on November 24. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


Gazprom 's board of directors on Tuesday is expected to discuss the company's budget for 2010. The gas monopoly's management has informed the directors that the company could lose 111.7 billion rubles in revenue in 2009 and 274.4 billion rubles in 2010, given a dispute with the Federal Customs Service and the Central Energy Customs Office over how gas exports must be put through the customs, two sources close to Gazprom told Vedomosti. Gazprom has asked the prime minister to intervene. But the government has not decided yet whom it will support. Gazprom has warned that it will have to cut next year's investment program by almost 37% down to 474 billion rubles if no measures are applied to the customs, one of the sources said. (Who Will Save Gazprom?)

Gazprom has said it spends too much on foreign gas. The company is ready to reduce gas purchases in Turkmenistan by 75% in 2010-12, and the overall spending on Central Asian fuel by $2 billion as a minimum, compared to 2008. The company management has prepared a forecast on Central Asian gas purchases in 2010-12 for today's meeting of the board of directors, which is expected to discuss Gazprom's budget for the coming three years. (We Don't Take from Others).

The development of the Junin-6 crude block in Venezuela is likley to become a very lucrative deal for Russian companies. Its internal profitability rate is expected to be no lower than 19%, which is a lot higher than in Russia. An agreement to form a joint venture to develop Junin-6 with an oil reserve of 53 billion barrels was signed in March. The project will involve Russia's National Oil Consortium (NNK-Rosneft , Lukoil , TNK-BP, Surgutneftegaz and Gazprom Neft , and Venezuela's PDVSA. Russia and Venezuela on September 10 signed an intergovernmental agreement on the procedures of developing the block. A 60% stake in the joint venture will be held by Corporacion Venezolana del Petroleo (CVP), which is PDVSA's 100% subsidiary, and a 40% stake by NNK. (Better than in Russia).

Rostekhnologii has a rival bidder to acquire a 13% stake in KAMAZ . Daimler wants to buy a 15% stake, and it only needs to come to terms with Troika Dialog on the price of the deal. Daimler has the preferential right to buy Troika's stake. It also claims a slightly larger stake in KAMAZ, than Rostekhnologii - 15%, a source said. And this will help bring its share from the current 10% to a blocking stake. (Daimler Will Fight for KAMAZ).

The tax service wants major Russian chocolate and candy factory Rossiya, owned by Nestle and based in Samara, to be liquidated. A commentary, provided by the factory's General Director Pavel Rudas, circulated by Nestle, suggests that the demand for liquidation is due to the fact that the value of the company's net assets in 2008 was smaller than the minimal charter capital. Rossiya sustained 237.9 million rubles in losses in 2008, according to SPARK, while the value of its net assets was minus 112.4 million rubles (Rossiya Liquidation).


Societe Generale Group's Russian banks are in operational integration. The network of remote service units of the group's major assets in Russia - Rosbank and Bank Societe Generale Vostok - will be integrated and the banks will provide mortgage loans by uniform standards. This will allow Societe Generale to benefit from the synergy of its Russian assets even before the integration of the shareholders' capital. (Page 9, Societe General Goes in for Integration).

Tinkoff Credit System Bank has increased the income more than 50 times, over the 12 crisis-stricken months, demonstrating a record low level of arrears by IFRS for a bank specializing in retail lending - just 5%. This was due to the bank's untraditional assessment of borrowers and to the sale of problematical loans to collectors at early stages, experts note. (Page 10, Tinkoff Sells Problems).

Analysts have calculated how much the Polish-American CEDC holding company will pay for a 100% stake in Russia's major vodka manufacturer, Russian Alcohol. Renaissance capital estimated one of the most complicated deals, paid in cash, with CEDC shares and by way of converting Russian Alcohol bonds, at $1.053 billion, not taking the Russian company's debt of $296.7 million into account. (Page 12, CEDC Pays Generously for Russian Alcohol).