Russian News: May 16th, 2008!

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 11:53:03.After an hour and a half of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the weighted average exchange rate stood at 23.84 RUB/USD. The official rate for May 17-19 could therefore be revised RUB 0.01 lower. Considering that the dollar, in contrast, climbed RUB 0.13 against the ruble over the two previous sessions, the latter currency has been able to recoup only some of that loss today. The current developments on MICEX can be attributed to the euro’s slight advance against the dollar on international exchanges. Meanwhile, commercial bank activity has been consistently high, and the trade volume amounted to USD 828m as of 11:30 a.m.

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 11:20:38.Open Investments has set the offering price for its additional share issue at RUB 6,915 (approx. USD 289.9) per share, the investment and development company’s official documents state. The flotation was launched today, and the company is planning to place 1,692,252 shares with a par value of RUB 1,000 (approx. USD 41.93) each. The company’s shareholders can exercise preemptive right to acquire additionally issued shares in proportion to the amount of shares they already own.

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 10:55:37.During an annual meeting, Evraz Group shareholders approved a dividend of $4.2 per common share and $1.4 per GDR for 2007, the company’s press office reported today. Therefore, the total payout for 2007 will amount to $9 per share and $3 per GDR, including interim dividend. The record date for the payment of dividend was set for May 14. In addition, the shareholders have appointed Ernst & Young as the company’s auditor.

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 09:57:28.Russia has sent its first rescue crew of the Emergency Ministry to China to help the search and rescue operations which have been underway in the country after this week’s earthquake, the ministry’s press office said. The crew consists of 49 specialists, including 29 rescuers, 13 doctors and 3 psychologists. Yesterday, the ministry reported that two Il-76 transport planes were bound for China carrying 87 crew members and an airborne hospital. The second plane will take 38 people to China, including 28 doctors of the Emergency Ministry, and seven tonnes of medicines alongside the hospital facilities.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 16:55:31.According to preliminary estimates, Russia’s cash budget surplus reached some RUB 1.084 trillion (approx. USD 45bn) in January-April 2008, the Finance Ministry reported today. The primary surplus (excluding foreign debt repayments) amounted to nearly RUB 1.143 trillion (approx. USD 47.9bn). Budget revenue stood at roughly RUB 3.025 trillion (approx. USD 127bn), or 37.5 percent of the target for 2008, while cash budget spending totaled nearly RUB 1.941 trillion (approx. USD 81bn), or 26.2 percent of the amended target.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 15:29:51.The Russian government must present a draft federal budget for 2009-2011 to the State Duma in August 2008, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said during a cabinet meeting today. He stressed that the document needed to determine the country’s priorities and key macroeconomic objectives. It also must include exact and realistic estimates, as well as take into account the current trends in the global economy, Putin noted.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 14:07:19.Aeroflot – Russian Airlines’ net profit under RAS stood at RUB 1.336bn (approx. USD 56m) in the first quarter of 2008 against a RUB 1.15bn (approx. USD 48m) loss a year before, Russia’s flagship air carrier reported. As reported earlier, Aeroflot’s annual net profit fell 23.89 percent to RUB 6.074bn (approx. USD 255m) in 2007 compared to a year earlier.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 10:49:44.Mongolia’s President Nambaryn Enkhbayar will pay a working visit to Moscow on May 15-18. During a meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev scheduled for Friday, the two Presidents are expected to discuss a large number of issues regarding bilateral relations, as well as exchange opinions on international and regional problems of mutual interest, the Russian leader’s press office reported today.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 13:52:56.Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has put forward a proposal at today’s cabinet meeting to set up a government board. The board is required to enhance the government’s efficiency and flexibility, as it is obvious that government meetings are a slow and bureaucratic process, the Prime Minister said. The board will include Deputy Prime Ministers and some ministers. Government meetings are to be held at least once a month, and all current issues would be resolved by the government board weekly, with particular ministers invited to attend.

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