Russian News: 06-10-2008!

RBC, 10.06.2008, Moscow 16:50:14.The average price of Gazprom’s natural gas supplies to Europe has now reached $410 per 1,000 cubic meters, the energy holding’s CEO Alexei Miller said during a meeting of the European Business Congress (EBC) in Deauville today. Miller reiterated that Gazprom had originally expected the figure to reach $400 by the end of 2008. However, the company underestimated the price growth potential, even though it had very detailed information on gas markets, the CEO noted. The gas price volatility may be attributed to the current surge in hydrocarbon prices. For instance, the oil price is expected to close in on $250 per barrel in the near future, Miller stated.

RBC, 10.06.2008, Moscow 16:24:03.Gazprom has finally determined the route of the South Stream gas pipeline, the Russian energy holding’s CEO Alexei Miller said during the 11th annual meeting of the European Business Congress in Deauville today. Miller reiterated that the holding had earlier signed agreements on the construction of the pipeline with Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Greece. He added that Gazprom agreed with its partners during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 7-8 that Slovenia and Austria would also join the project. Miller stressed that the South Stream project did not compete with the Nabucco pipeline project, thanks to the rising demand for gas in Europe.

RBC, 10.06.2008, Moscow 14:39:03.Sitronics and China’s ZTE have signed an agreement on the creation of a joint venture, General Director of the Russian provider of telecommunication solutions Sergei Aslanian told RBC today. Sitronics will hold a controlling stake in the new company. Before the end of 2008, Sitronics and ZTE are poised to launch a plant in China, where the Russian company will relocate its main production. This would allow a cut in production costs by at least 20-25 percent. Aslanian pointed out that the plant had already been built.

RBC, 10.06.2008, Moscow 13:52:43.Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov believes that it is necessary to start exchange trading in aviation fuel. The price of jet fuel currently represents 70 percent of an airline ticket price, which is “very costly” for an air carrier, he told journalists. Once aviation fuel becomes an exchange-traded commodity, the problem will be solved, as there will be more than the existing 3-4 companies supplying the fuel to air carriers, the Deputy PM said.

RBC, 10.06.2008, Tbilisi 09:16:50.Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili believes that the Abkhazian conflict can only be settled through a dialogue with Russia. He stressed, however, that a decision to bring troops into the region would mean switching to a dangerous stage in the conflict, and added that he hoped that Russia would change its policies, Georgia’s TV channel Rustavi 2 quoted him as saying.

RBC, 09.06.2008, Moscow 19:24:10.The management of the Russian gold producer Polyus Gold has attributed the 15-percent revenue increase in 2007 to higher gold process. Commenting on the company’s IFRS-based financial results released today, executives said that the positive dynamics were linked exclusively to the market situation, as Polyus Gold sold a total of 1.21m ounces of gold in 2007, 6,000 ounces less than a year earlier, while the price of gold rose over 30 percent that year, enabling the company to post a record annual revenue of $849.023m