Russian News: February 12th, 2008!

RBC, 12.02.2008, Moscow 11:54:26.Today’s session on the Russian stock market opened with most traded securities rising 1.5 percent on average. On MICEX, Surgutneftegas was the top gainer, having surged 2.5 percent. The RTS index was up 0.5 percent at the opening and climbed 1.3 percent to top 1,940 points within the first 15 minutes of the session. The increase in Russian stocks can be attributed to the positive dynamics of US indices and a hike in global oil prices.Analysts note that, although another decline is possible on the Russian market, most stocks are likely to go up further, particularly those of Surgutneftegas, which are now undervalued.

RBC, 12.02.2008, Moscow 11:20:23.A Ukrainian delegation headed by the republic’s President Viktor Yushchenko will be arriving in Moscow today in order to participate in a second meeting of the intergovernmental commission jointly with Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin. A bilateral cooperation plan, as well as a number of documents on trade, economic, scientific, and technological cooperation are expected to be signed during the visit.

RBC, 12.02.2008, Moscow 10:09:48.Gazprom could start its natural gas supply reduction to Ukraine at 6 p.m. today. An agreement to this effect was reached during a meeting between the executives of Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom on Monday, when the Russian gas holding’s President Alexei Miller held talks with the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Ukrainian state company Oleg Dubina at the Gazprom headquarters in Moscow regarding the payoff of Naftogaz’s debt for Russian gas supplied to Ukrainian consumers.

RBC, 12.02.2008, Moscow 09:54:31.During the second Russian-Indian trade and investment forum scheduled to start in Delhi on Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov will discuss prospects of the implementation of new joint projects. The PM is also anticipated to take part in the opening ceremony of VTB Bank’s first office in New Delhi today. VTB was granted a license to launch a branch in the Indian capital on January 10, 2008. The Russian banking group currently boasts representations in 17 countries worldwide.

RBC, 12.02.2008, Barcelona 09:25:58.The Russian anti-virus software developer Kaspersky Lab’s share on the Western European anti-virus software market amounted to 5 percent in 2007, General Director Yevgeny Kaspersky told RBC, citing corporate estimates. Meanwhile, the lab ranked among the top three leaders in the retail segment in most countries. The company currently controls over 40 percent of the home anti-viral software market in Germany and Austria, around 50 percent in Russia, and 20 percent in Spain.

RBC, 11.02.2008, Moscow 17:23:20.Russian Post is to remain a state-owned company, IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reyman told journalists during a meeting of the ministry’s board today, adding that the ministry had yet to decide whether Russian Post needed to be converted into a state corporation or into a joint-stock company fully controlled by the government. Commenting on the possible deregulation of the postal sector, Reyman noted that if private-owned companies were allowed access to the market, it was necessary to ensure that Russian Post did not become an operator of its least efficient segments.

RBC, 11.02.2008, Moscow 15:06:40.Russia approved a write-off of 93 percent ($11.997bn) of Iraq’s debt totaling $12.9bn, according to a bilateral agreement signed at the Russian Finance Ministry today. Russia had assumed the commitment in accordance with the Paris Club decision. The agreement was signed by Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

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