Russian News: 5-13-2008

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 15:54:30.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has approved the division of responsibilities between his deputies, the government’s press office reported today. specifically, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is to deal with the matters of agriculture and the agribusiness sector. First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov will oversee the government’s international economic policy, talks on Russia’s accession to the WTO, support for small businesses, and state property governance, among other things. Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will be responsible for Russia’s social and economic development and monetary policy. Deputy PM Alexander Zhukov is expected to work on top priority national projects, Deputy PM Igor Sechin will deal with industry and energy issues, and Deputy PM, the government’s chief of staff Sergei Sobyanin is to oversee the efficiency of Russia’s executive bodies. Finally, Deputy PM Sergei Ivanov will be in charge of the government’s industry, defense, transportation, communications, and innovation policies.

RBC, 13.05.2008, St. Petersburg 15:20:18.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin requested during today’s meeting on the development of shipbuilding in Russia that the most promising areas of the industry’s development be determined. He stressed that the construction of a new generation of ships and other marine equipment must be launched. It is necessary to focus efforts on projects that are vital for sustaining Russia’s defensive capacity or have a noticeable commercial potential, Putin said. The creation of the full range of marine equipment for the production and transportation of hydrocarbons on sea shelves is especially important, as offshore output of hydrocarbons alone is estimated at $80bn-$100bn per year in the world at large, Putin stated.

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 14:52:07.Slightly over two and a half hours before the close of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the high on deals stood at 23.83 RUB/USD, which is RUB 0.11 higher than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for the next day. As a result of the dollar’s further advance against the ruble, the spread on dollar deals has widened to RUB 0.14, or 0.6 percent. The current developments on the domestic market can be attributed to the euro’s unremitting recession against the US currency on international exchanges. Meanwhile, the weighted average exchange rate reached 23.77 RUB/USD and the trade volume has already exceeded USD 3.1bn at the UTS.

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 11:42:30.After an hour and a half of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the weighed average exchange rate stood at 23.72 RUB/USD. The official rate for May 14 could therefore be revised RUB 0.11 lower. Combined with a RUB 0.05 loss on Monday, the dollar has tumbled a total of RUB 0.16, or 0.7 percent, against the ruble in two days. The current developments on the domestic market can be attributed to the dollar’s considerable depreciation against the European currency on international exchanges. The latter is now trading at around USD 1.5515, up from nearly USD 1.5385 at midday at the previous session. Consequently, the euro has edged up roughly 0.8 percent against the dollar on the global market since then. Meanwhile, commercial bank activity has been consistently high at the UTS, where the trade volume exceeded USD 867m as of 11:30 a.m., and the average deal size was fairly high at USD 3.6m.

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 09:34:31.Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin congratulated Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev on his inauguration, the press office of the Moldovan President has reported. In his address to Medvedev, Voronin said he was positive that the new President’s stance on key interior and foreign issues would work to foster Russia’s welfare and to provide decent living conditions to its citizens.

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