19 Aug 2009 10:59

Moscow press review for August 19 2009

MOSCOW. Aug 19(Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on August 19 Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


The restoration of the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant, which was recently stopped because of an accident, could cost more than 10 billion rubles, RusHydro board member Boris Bugush said on Tuesday. This money should be enough "to fully repair the plant and bring it back to its projected parameters," however, this could take several years, Bogush said. The restoration will be financed chiefly by RusHydro, for which it will have to revise its 2010 investment program, he added. RusHydro also wants to increase the tariffs in 2010 to make consumers partly cover the unpredictable expenses ('Everyone Will Pay for Accident').

Severstal has announced its plans to place 45 billion rubles in bonds. Its board of directors has approved five issues of three-year exchange bonds, one of them totaling 15 billion rubles, two 10 billion rubles each, and two more 5 billion rubles each. The company will issue the bonds as soon as the need arises, a company spokesman said. The proceeds from the placement should be spent on "general corporate needs and the refinancing of the accounts payable," he said ('Severstal Borrowing').

Metalloinvest will repay its debts to Sberbank by taking out a loan from VTB , the metal holding announced in a statement. Sberbank managers are apparently aware of such an agreement as well, and a VTB source said the deal is under consideration, although no documents have yet been signed. VTB is to extend a 61 billion ruble credit line to Metalloinvest for five years, sources close to Alisher Usmanov said. The metal holding plans to clear the debt to Sberbank at four tranches in August-November, as was envisioned by the original credit agreement ('Credit Circle', see also Kommersant, page 9, "Metalloinvest Distributes Debt').

The Finance Ministry has published a plan of budget policy priorities for 2010 and a period of 2011-2012, in which it described how it intends to adapt the budget system to the post-crisis conditions. "The budget will be slowly squeezed and reformatted. We have described this maneuver," a Finance Ministry official said. The federal budget revenues will decrease to 15.7% in 2010 and 2011 and 15.5% in 2012 from 17.1% in 2009, although nominal revenues will be growing by an average of 7% a year in this period ('Crisis Adaptation', see also Kommersant, page 2, 'MinFin Adapting Budget to Lack of Money').


Gazprom , which signed an agreement on purchasing the Kovykta mineral field from TNK-BP two years ago, has apparently lost interest in the project, and Rosneftegaz, whose board of directors is currently led by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, could become the field's new owner. Officials are working out new details of a possible deal, but Rosneftegaz does not intend to pay $1 billion to TNK-BP, which it planned to get from Gazprom (page 1, 'Gazprom Writes Off Kovykta').

Kommersant has learned that Georgy Krasnyansky, one of the two owners of Eurocement Group, has withdrawn from the business. Filaret Galchev, a controlling stakeholder, bought 23.8% in a joint-stock company with the same name from Krasnyansky at a pre-crisis price of about $1 billion, Galchev has paid about $400 million and is supposed to complete the payment until May 2011. Negotiations on restructuring the rest of the sum are under way. The former partners are considering several options, including the debt's deferment for several years and the payment by the company's assets (page 1, 'Filaret Galchev Owes Partner').

Aeroflot Deputy General Director for Finance and Planning Mikhail Poluboyarinov is leaving the airline for Vnesheconombank (VEB), where he is to become the director of the infrastructure department. Poluboyarinov is the third of Aeroflot's top managers leaving the company after Vitaly Savelyev became general director. Experts are of the view that previous General Director Valery Okulov's team will undergo more changes (page 9, 'Aeroflot Top Manager Lands at VEB').

The Moscow Arbitration Court has frozen bank accounts and other assets of subsidiaries of Sergei Polonsky's Mirax Group under Alfa Bank's $241.589 million claim. The bank insisted that the injunction was necessary to prevent the debtor from stripping its assets. Lawyers said courts rarely freeze debtors' accounts even amid the crisis (page 10, 'Alfa Bank Reckoning With Debtors', see also Vedomosti, 'Mirax' Towers Frozen').

A court ruled to recover $38.322 million in favor of Nomos Bank from Vladimir Nekrasov, the owner of the Arbat Prestige cosmetics retail chain, who was recently released from prison pending trial under a written pledge not to leave town. Nekrasov was a guarantor on a loan issued by the bank to the holding's operating company, Arbat and Co., which is now through bankruptcy procedures along with the holding's other structures. Vladimir Nekrasov is seeking to control the bankruptcy procedure himself, which could result in the conclusion of an amicable agreement between him and the bank (page 7, 'Vladimir Nekrasov Closer to Bankruptcy').