29 Sep 2009 10:53

Moscow press review for September 29, 2009

MOSCOW. Sept 29 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on September 29. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


More expensive oil supported not only the budget but state corporations as well. This year the Finance Ministry has almost halved the sum it was going to borrow from Rosnano and the housing and utilities sector, from 160.4 billion to 85.4 billion rubles. Additional oil and gas revenues helped reduce the amount withheld from state corporations to cover the 2009 budget deficit, said Tatyana Nesterenko, deputy finance minister. Rosnano will return 66.4 billion rubles instead of 85.4 billion to the treasury, while the fund for assisting the reform in the housing and utilities sector will return 19 billion instead of 75 billion rubles.

In August most Russian deposits were opened in foreign currency, the talk of a possible devaluation and the expectation of traditional August shocks have done their job. Most foreign-currency bank accounts were opened with Sberbank (7.9 billion rubles), VTB 24 (3.9 billion) and Trust Bank (1.7 billion), the growth in ruble deposits with the latter two was three times less in August.

VTB has decided not to leave its last year profit to its subsidiary VTB North-West . Now it will receive an additional sum of around 6 billion rubles in the form of dividends, but then will contribute almost just as much in VTB North-West.

Promsvyazbank's assets have dropped by 10.5% to 414.5 billion rubles at the end of the first half of 2009, the bank said in its IFRS report. The decrease was the result of the repayment of the anti-crisis funding received from the Russian Central Bank, the bank said on its website. Its capital has reduced by 1.1% to 39.5 billion rubles. Spending on credit reserves rose from 3 billion rubles over the same period last year to 10.8 billion rubles, having reached 62.9% of operation profit. Losses stood at 317.8 million rubles against 2.6 billion rubles in profit a year earlier. The bank's credit portfolio reduced by 5.4% to 284 billion rubles since the beginning of the year.

The government decided not to take the risk of giving the purchased grain to a private company's intervention fund. Inverventions will be carried out by state-owned United Grain Company.


RusAl could get a state support in its struggle for the Friguia bauxite and alumina complex, which risks to be nationalized by the military junta which came to power in Guinea. A Guinean delegation is due to arrive in Moscow in early October for talks with a number of high-ranking Russian officials. But in exchange for the refusal to nationalize Friguia the Guineans could demand a serious foreign-policy support, a condition that some experts believe Russia is unlikely to accept so far.

Trivon Group, in which billionaire Richard Branson is one of the investors, has bought from Effortel (a telecommunications company owned by Leonid Melamed, former Rosnano general director and first deputy CEO at RAO UES) two broadband operators, Mediaseti (Media networks) and Mediacom. Melamed had been looking for a buyer of the Effortel's assets since the beginning of the summer. Experts estimate that Mediaseti and Mediacom were worth $15-17 million.