Russian News: February 19th, 2008!


RBC, 19.02.2008, Moscow 16:29:16.Federal, regional, and local authorities need to clamp down on corruption, Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov stated during today’s meeting of the extended board of the General Prosecutor’s Office today. Prosecutors need to coordinate anti-corruption measures more efficiently and to take steps to reduce corruption even in the absence of a special anti-corruption law and a respective agency, Zubkov noted. The PM emphasized the necessity of removing the causes of corruption, as well as reducing administrative barriers in Russia.

RBC, 19.02.2008, Moscow 16:00:29.According to preliminary data confirmed by Mosenergo’s Executive Board, the Russian energy company’s net profit under RAS more than halved to RUB 740m (approx. USD 30.09m) in 2007 compared to a year earlier, the company’s press office reported today. Meanwhile, the net profit target was set at RUB 300m (approx. USD 12.20m). Revenue grew 11.5 percent to RUB 78.3bn (approx. USD 3.18bn).

RBC, 19.02.2008, Moscow 14:43:45.Commenting on the anticipated amendments to the budget for 2008 and 2009-2010 during today’s press conference, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov criticized such a large budget surplus. The Federation Council is likely to approve the amendments at the plenary session on Wednesday, as most of the additional budget revenue is to be spent on social payments, Mironov noted. However, the official pointed out that there were more budget funds that needed to be allocated to various economy sectors.

RBC, 19.02.2008, Moscow 14:34:16.At the closing of the special dollar trading session for today deals, the low and the high on deals stood at 24.40 and 24.55 RUB/USD respectively, unaltered since the opening. The weighted average dollar exchange rate coincided with the official dollar rate set by the Bank of Russia for February 20 at 24.52 RUB/USD. The stability can be traced to the situation abroad, where the euro-to-dollar rate has been virtually unchanged for several hours now.

RBC, 19.02.2008, Moscow 13:23:47.United Company Rusal is not in talks with Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin on the purchase of his stake in Norilsk Nickel, Viktor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Russian aluminum giant, told RBC today. Therefore, he denied recent media reports that UC RUSAL had made a proposal to the co-owner of the Russian mining and metallurgical company to buy out his stake and pay for it with cash and UC RUSAL’s shares.

RBC, 19.02.2008, Moscow 12:57:14.Russian Railways intends to allocate some RUB 10.5bn (approx. USD 427m) as investments in the project for improving oil transfer from Russia to China, the railway company’s press office reported today. The project provides for the reconstruction of a section of the Transbaikal railway in order to increase the railway’s capacity. Most of the reconstruction activities under the project are to be completed in 2008.

RBC, 19.02.2008, Moscow 11:59:23.Today’s session on the Russian stock market started with a rise in most traded securities, which can be attributed to a considerable increase in US and European stock indices, as well as to higher metals prices. On MICEX, almost all stocks went up 0.5 percent on average, while Rosneft and Sberbank gained more than 1 percent. The RTS index topped 2,035 points after the first ten minutes of trade.

RBC, 18.02.2008, Moscow 19:21:40.The Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia has made a decision to issue RUB 400bn (approx. USD 16.27bn) in series 05 short-term zero coupon bonds, with the maturity date set for September 15, 2008, the international and public relations department of the Russian Central Bank announced in a statement.

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