18 Sep 2009 10:13

Moscow press review for September 18, 2009

MOSCOW. Sept 18 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on September 18. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


Polymetal believes it should better borrow $150 million in Russia or from Western banks. The company is in talks with Unicredit and EBRD over a long syndicated loan for at least $150 million, company's general director Vitaly Nesis said told the Denver Gold Forum. Concurrently, the company is negotiating a long-term credit line for at least $100 million with Sberbank , Polymetal's director for corporate communications Yevgeny Freidinov told Vedomosti. The company will sign a contract with the creditor who will offer better terms, he said. ("Killing two birds at once")

The government's budget commission decided on Tuesday to cut almost all expenditures in 2010. Only two will rise: defense (by 3% - to 1.243 trillion rubles) and applied scientific research in national economy (by 2.6% to 115.1 billion rubles). All in all, budget spending on applied research will rise by 50% during the crisis years 2009-2010. For comparison: education spending during the same period will increase by 11%, agriculture will be halved (excluding anti-crisis support measures). ("No money spared on science")

Government official told Vedomosti that on Thursday first deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov held a meeting on the banking system. VEB chairman Vladimir Dmitrieyv and his deputy Pyotr Fradkov told the meeting that the state corporation received too many banks' requests for subordinated loans, and the 410 billion rubles set aside in the national welfare reserve is not enough. A source close to the VEB said that around 20 billion rubles remain undistributed, the state corporation has almost 110 billion rubles in applications, more than 60 billion rubles have been examined. However, the government decided not to extend this program. ("There is and will be no money")

Total unemployment will continue to rise next year, the Ministry of Economic Development has warned. The average annual indicator will increase by 200,000 people to 7 million, which is 9.6% of the economically active population, according to a macroeconomic forecast for 2010-2012. The officially registered unemployment rates will remain at 2.2 million people. The situation will continue to worsen this fall and early next year, since companies are cutting labor costs, an economic ministry official said. ("The worst is yet to come ")


Yukos Capital S.a.r.l, which is seeking a court ruling on recovering 13 billion rubles from Rosneft, has explained why it is doing so through a U.S. court. The plaintiff believes that Rosneft and its biggest trader Gunvor, co-owned by Gennady Timchenko, are one whole thing. If the court agreed with that, Gunvor which supplies oil worldwide could face a loss of its assets for Rosneft's debts. (page 7, "Rosneft united with Gunvor," also in Vedomosti - "The master of Gunvor")

Inter RAO has started a legal action to challenge the results of a tender for the sale of 18.3% in Montenegrin energy company Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG). The company wants to prove that the Montenegrin authorities have unlawfully rejected its bid. To overturn the tender Inter RAO might have to prove that it could use Russia's sovereign rating instead of its own. (page 9, "Inter RAO equals itself to Russia")

The Russian market will soon have a new type of bonds - infrastructural. The relevant bill has been prepared by the Federal Service for Financial Markets. Only companies set up for implementing specific infrastructural projects will be entitled to issue such securities backed by government's guarantees. Experts do not rule out that because of their specifics infrastructural bonds will be in demand among the narrow circle of investors. (page 8, "Infrastructure charged with bonds")