10 Aug 2009 10:08

Moscow press review for August 10, 2009

MOSCOW. August 10 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on August 10. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


The official plan is to level export duties on light and dark oil products in 2012. The year is stated in the draft amendments to the law On the Customs Tariff which the Economic Development Ministry recently submitted to the Russian Cabinet. However, plans may change. Two weeks ago the government

In January-March 2009 Transneft returns on the sale of surplus oil totaled 1.65 billion rubles, according to IFRS, which is 430% more than in Q1 2008. In 2008 as a whole the company earned 2.14 billion rubles. The oil surplus is generated by the imprecision of measuring equipment. The sharp rise in sales can probably be accounted to the specifics of accounting surplus sales, a source close to Transneft notes. The monopoly recognizes receipts on delivery and probably part of the deals executed earlier had not been recorded, the source told Vedomosti. ("Extracting from the Pipe")

Atomstroyexport has received a contract from OGK-3 worth up to $1.2 billion leaving behind six competitors. The contest was announced in October 2008. The project is divided into two stages - one power unit worth 11.98 billion rubles should be built by 2012 and two others worth 23.96 billion rubles by 2013-2014, an OGK spokesman said. However, the Energy Ministry has not made a decision on the second stage yet because in line with a plan made back in the days of UES one power unit for 450 MWt should be commissioned at Yuzhnouralskaya power plant. OGK-3 has suggested adding 620 MWt to the same station (as well as building a facility in Sochi for the Olympic Games) instead of new capacities at the Kostroma power plant. This change has been agreed upon with ministry officials only tentatively. ("Order for $1Bln", and also Kommersant p.8, "Atomstroyexport distracted from NPP")

At the beginning of 2009 Ukraine asked Russia for a $4 billion to $5 billion loan for the acquisition of natural gas to be pumped into underground storage facilities ahead of the cold season. In May Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he was ready to consider the issue, if the EU lent half of the sum. "If Europe is going to be interested in organizing a credit to Ukraine, then Russia will consider the possibility of joining the pool," First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said at the time. Recently EBRD and other banks agreed to assign up to $1.7 billion to Ukraine in 2009-2010 but mainly for Naftogaz investments in transportation and gas reforms. It turned out that Russia is not considering any loan now. It is aware of the EU decision and is now analyzing it, Sechin told Vedomosti. "However, there is no need for our loan yet," he said. ("Forgotten Loan")

TMK pipe company has reached agreement with Gazprombank to extend the term of a $1.1 billion loan from 2.5 years to five years, a company spokesman has announced. The grace period was extended from one to two and a half years. The company spokesman also said TMK is negotiating loan rescheduling with Sberbank and VTB . He said that their loans constitute about 11% of the company's credit portfolio. The company is negotiating with all banks the extension of the terms of their loans to five or seven years at 10%-13%. ("Rates are Falling")


For the first time on the Russian market the owners of a bank are preparing to sell it in an open contest. The shareholders of the Bank of Cyprus chose this form of withdrawing from the Russian asset. Earlier foreigners got rid of Russian assets through the liquidation procedure for fear of mala fide buyers. The owners of the Bank of Cyprus hope to avoid reputation risks by selling the bank to nonresidents and expect that the contest will bring them a premium of up to 20% of the bank's capital, analysts believe. (p. 7, "The Bank of Cyprus to put its Name at Risk")

Major managing companies posted a three-fold increase in net profits in H1. Despite the 56-59.7% growth of the stock market the receipts of managing companies from core operations dropped 25-40%. In conditions of a continuing outflow of funds of private investors from mutual funds managing companies are forced to cut on their expenses and enter new types of business. (p. 6, "Managing Companies Gain on Expenses")