Russian News: May 6th, 2008

RBC, Moscow 16:28:36.The United Aircraft Building Corporation’s (UABC) net profit
under RAS amounted to RUB 121.034m (approx. USD 5m) , the company reported. Revenue totaled RUB 27.151m (approx. USD 1.14m). Proceeds from the participation in other organizations reached RUB 265.24m (approx. USD 11m). Earlier, UABC President Alexei Fyodorov announced that sales of all the companies part of the United Aircraft Building Corporation were estimated to reach at RUB 120bn (approx. USD 5bn).

RBC, Moscow 15:53:30.Russia’s external debt shrank 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2008, from $44.9bn as of January 1, 2008 to $44.1bn as of April 1, 2008, the Russian Finance Ministry reported. The outstanding debt to Paris Club creditors decreased 11 percent to $1.6bn.

RBC, Moscow 15:31:20.The Russian stock market will trade moderately positive this week, experts told RBC TV, adding that the RTS index would try to reach a level within the range of 2,160-2,180 points. The rise is most likely to be bolstered by Gazprom and Sberbank, as well as other key index growth drivers. Meanwhile, low trading activity will persist on the Russian market until the end of the week, despite the upcoming presidential inauguration and subsequent stepped-up government activity. The banking sector’s potential is seen as high in the longer term, with predictions of prices not only reaching their IPO levels, but also hitting some new highs.

RBC, Moscow 14:59:35.OGK-1’s net profit under IFRS dropped by a factor of three to RUB 1.966bn (approx. USD 83m) in 2007 compared to a year earlier, the Russian power generation company said in a statement. Revenue grew 49 percent to RUB 44.891bn (approx. USD 1.887bn). Pre-tax profit shrank three times to RUB 2.748bn (approx. USD 116m).

RBC, Moscow 13:47:16.Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a federal law setting out the procedure for foreign investment in enterprises considered as strategically important to ensure national security, the leader’s press office reported. The bill was passed by the State Duma on April 2 and approved by the Federation Council on April 16.

RBC, Moscow 13:23:27.Georgia is discrediting the Russian peacekeeping mission in the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict zone in order to justify the use of military force, the Russian Defense Ministry believes. The ministry’s information and media relations department announced today that it had been with the support of several NATO nations and foreign-sponsored military build-up that Georgian politicians began to feel they were in a position to discredit Russian peacekeeping efforts and condone the use of military force in settling ethnic conflicts. A Defense Ministry source said the May 4 incident with two Georgian spy planes shot down by Abkhaz air defense proved that Tbilisi had long given up on resolving the conflict peacefully.

RBC, Moscow 11:55:05.AVTOVAZ’s sales grew 22.8 percent to 212,200 cars between January and April 2008 from the same period a year earlier. During the first four months of 2008, AVTOVAZ sold 56,600 Lada Samaras, 59,600 Lada 2105/2107s, 57,900 Lada 111/112/Prioras, 30,600 Lada Kalinas, and 7,500 Lada 4x4s, exporting over 37,400 Ladas, 15 percent more than in January-April 2007. In April 2008 alone, over 67,000 AVTOVAZ-produced cars were sold on the Russian market, 29 percent more than during the same month of 2007.

RBC, Moscow 15:47:44.Russia’s National Welfare Fund totaled RUB 773.82bn, or USD 32.72bn, as of May 1, 2008, the Finance Ministry reported. The balance on the Fund’s foreign currency accounts amounted to USD 14.31bn, EUR 9.74bn and GBP 1.62bn. The Ministry estimated the return on investment of the fund’s reserves at USD 0.23bn, or RUB 5.36bn for the period between January 30 and April 30. The figures were calculated based on official foreign exchange rates of the Bank of Russia as of the date previous to the reporting date.

RBC, Moscow 14:44:14.Russia’s customs offices transferred some RUB 371.87bn (approx. USD 15.72bn) to the federal budget in April 2008, which is 11.08 percent, or RUB 37.1bn (approx. USD 1.57bn), above the target, according to Russia’s Federal Customs Service. Hence, the total year-to-date contribution of the customs authorities reached RUB 1.375 trillion (approx. USD 58.115bn), exceeding the target by 4.39 percent.

RBC, Moscow 12:58:20.Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) has acquired 50 percent in Lomonosov Cargo Terminal for EUR 77m from Frameno Limited, the port indicated in a press release. The deal was reached on May 1, 2008. The state controls 20 percent in the Russian ports operator was established in 1992.

RBC, Moscow 11:43:06.Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has scheduled its annual general shareholders meeting for June 27, 2008. The meeting will be held on a standard agenda. This was reported in a statement the company released today. The record date is May 12, 2008.

RBC, Moscow 14:58:53.As of May 1, 2008, Russia’s Reserve Fund amounted to RUB 3.069 trillion, or USD 129.80bn, the Finance Ministry reported. The balance on foreign currency accounts stood at USD 56.95bn, EUR 38.57bn, and GBP 6.37bn. The return on investments for the period between January 30 and April 30 was estimated at USD 0.85bn, or RUB 20.08bn. The figures were calculated based on the official foreign exchange rates of the Bank of Russia as of the date previous to the reporting date.

RBC, Moscow 12:47:26.The RAS-based net profit of Surgutneftegas nearly doubled in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same figure a year earlier, reaching virtually RUB 19.519bn (approx. USD 824.98m), the company said in a statement. However, this is 38.89 percent below the respective Q4 figure of RUB 31.942bn (approx. USD 1.35bn).

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