Russian News From Russia: March 24th, 2009!

RBC News Source: March 24th, 2009!

Russia’s GDP fall to be similar to that elsewhereWindows to Russia!The anticipated decrease in Russia’s GDP is expected to reach 2.2 percent in 2009, which is comparable with other countries’ performance, Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina said during the ministry’s extended board meeting today. GDP is projected to drop between 2.6 and 3.5 percent in the United States, 2.1-3 percent in EU countries, and by a maximum of 5.8 percent in Japan. Meanwhile, export-oriented countries, particularly transition economies, may face a deeper recession, she said, with GDP likely to plummet 9-11 percent in Ukraine, 11 percent in Latvia, and 7-7.5 percent in Hungary.

Russia, Transnistria to ink economic cooperation pact
Russia and Transnistria plan to sign a comprehensive agreement on the grounds for economic cooperation, Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov told journalists today. The need for such an accord was on the agenda at his meeting with President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, and it is currently in the works. According to Smirnov, the accord is of the utmost importance, as it would allow Russia and Transnistria to cooperate on a broad range of issues.

Russian shares finish up steeplyRussia’s benchmark indices closed sharply higher on Monday, with the Micex index up 7.29 percent from the previous close, at 849.82 points, on a trade volume of RUB 65.81bn (approx. USD 1.97bn), and the RTS index up 5.78 percent at 737.19 points amid a trade volume of USD 6.79m. On Micex, Sberbank surged 10.17 percent, Gazprom jumped 8.26 percent, VTB soared 9.49 percent, Tatneft rose 6.68 percent, and Polyus Gold climbed 6.95 percent. On the RTS, Lukoil gained 7.53 percent and Norilsk Nickel advanced 7.35 percent.

Gov’t to mull plans for making Moscow global financial hubThe Moscow government plans to make the city a huge international financial hub, a Moscow committee responsible for state borrowings has announced. On Tuesday, the Moscow government is set to consider a decree outlining a plan for the Russian capital’s development as a national and global financial center. The draft document highlights the considerable changes in the geography of global financial hubs that took place over the recent years. New financial centers such as Hong Kong and Singapore have joined the top ten list of the recognized leading financial hubs including Tokyo, Frankfurt, and Geneva. Furthermore, other financial centers in emerging economies, such as Shanghai and Mumbai, are seeking to achieve this same feat. This trend reflects the new realities of the rapidly changing world, where emerging countries, having considerably strengthened their positions on industrial and commodity markets, are now claiming leadership in global finance, the document reads.

Aeroflot launches bid to buy into Czech AirlinesAeroflot – Russian Airlines has submitted documents to the Czech Republic’s Finance Ministry that confirm its interest in participating in a tender for the privatization of a 91.5-percent stake in Czech Airlines (CSA), the Russian company’s press office has announced. The bid was submitted by a Czech legal entity on behalf of Aeroflot, in full compliance with the terms of the tender. The bid contained a general business plan confirming Aeroflot’s intentions to maintain CSA’s status as the Czech Republic’s national airline based in the Ruzyne Airport serving Prague. The plan also outlines the general areas of both airlines’ joint development in case of the deal’s completion.