News From Russia: November 28th, 2008!

RBC, 28.11.2008, Moscow 17:59:31.Viktor Vekselberg, TNK-BP executive director and one of its co-owners, believes that, at current oil prices, the oil export duty of $192.1 per tonne will make it impossible for companies to implement large investment projects, as he told journalists today. Oil companies will be able “to survive, but not develop,” Vekselberg said.

RBC, 28.11.2008, Moscow 17:05:10.More than two thirds of Russians (60 percent) do not have minor children and do not plan to have children in the near future, a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center revealed. Meanwhile, a mere 5 percent said that they wanted to have a child within a year or two. Every third Russian (34 percent) has at least one minor child, including 22 percent with one minor child, 10 percent with two children, and 2 percent with more than two minor children.

RBC, 28.11.2008, Moscow 16:28:44.LUKoil has attracted two loans to buy a 49-percent stake in the Italian oil refinery ISAB, the Russian oil company said in a press release today. Specifically, LUKoil Finance Ltd, the Russian giant’s subsidiary, secured a EUR 400m loan at an annual interest rate of 5.9 percent for six months, with an option to extend the loan period by another six months. ABN AMRO, Barclays Capital, and ING Bank arranged the loan. Furthermore, LUKoil Finance raised a three-year loan worth USD 280m at an interest rate of 5.4 percent. The loan was organized by ABN AMRO, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Citibank, and others. LUKoil is to make the first payment worth EUR 600m for the refinery by December 1.

RBC, 28.11.2008, Moscow 15:59:13.Steady economic growth is impossible without a reliable banking sector in Russia, Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said during a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP). He added that conditions must be created for banks to extend loans comfortably.

RBC, 28.11.2008, Yerevan 15:30:15.Russia’s partners within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have supported Moscow’s initiative to create a new security system in Europe, the Armenian news agency ARMINFO cited CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha as telling a press conference in Yerevan today following a meeting of CSTO defense ministers. He added that an informal meeting of CSTO foreign ministers to be held in Helsinki in mid-December would be dedicated, among other things, to specific concerted steps in implementing Russia’s initiative.

RBC, 28.11.2008, Moscow 13:07:10.The Bank of Russia will raise its overnight interest rate to 13 percent from December 1, the bank’s external and public relations department said in a statement today.

RBC, 28.11.2008, Moscow 09:56:48.Yesterday, the dollar rate grew RUB 0.05 against the ruble, closing at 27.41 RUB/USD. The trading session was fairly calm on MICEX yesterday against the background of consolidating FOREX currency pairs. The U.S. trading floors were closed yesterday on account of Thanksgiving Day, and the macroeconomic statistics issued in the euro zone could be interpreted differently and did not have a marked impact on the European currency. Today, therefore, markets are likely to remain calm.