Russian News: January 29th, 2008!

RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 11:55:28.Foreign car sales surged 61 percent to 1.65m cars in Russia in 2007 compared to a year earlier, Russian Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina said during the official signing of an agreement for the construction of a PSA Peugeot Citroen plant in Kaluga today. The Minister noted that total sales of both Russian and foreign cars (including those assembled in Russia) were expected to reach 4m in 2011. The ministry has already signed 23 agreements with car producers, and investments under these agreements total $5.2bn, Nabiullina stated, adding that total corporate investment in the automobile industry was projected to reach $6.5bn.

RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 11:41:59.Russia’s central Election Commission (CEC) has received an official notice from presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev on his refusal to participate in televised debates prior to the upcoming election, CEC’s press office told RBC today. Meanwhile, another candidate Gennady Zyuganov has not yet filed a similar notice despite speculations on the matter in various media resources. Andrei Bogdanov is poised to participate in the debates…..(Click: read more for rest of the news!)

RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 10:41:05.About 30 minutes into this morning’s special dollar trading session for today deals, the low on deals stood at 24.30 RUB/USD, which is RUB 0.30, or 1.2 percent, lower than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for January 29. The ruble’s noticeable advance against the dollar on the domestic market can be attributed to the euro’s considerable appreciation against the US currency on international exchanges. The euro is now trading at nearly USD 1.4760, up from around USD 1.4660 at the same time at the previous session. Consequently, the euro has gained almost 0.7 percent against the dollar on the global market since then.

RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 09:28:14.The owners of the Euroset group of companies do not intend to sell their stakes in the Russian mobile handset retailer and are not currently discussing any borrowings from the public market, the company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Yevgeny Chichvarkin told journalists. Meanwhile, the group’s President Alexei Chuykin added that any reports of a possible sale of their stakes in Euroset by the current owners were pure rumors that had been circulating for a fairly long time. Chuykin asserted that the company’s business was under no threat whatsoever at the moment, and thus selling stakes in the company would have been senseless. This follows reports citing Euroset executives that the owners were in a position to transfer up to 25 percent in the group to a third-party investor either through a sale and purchase transaction or an IPO. While denying the feasibility of an IPO in the near term due to extreme instability on stock exchanges, Chichvarkin nevertheless did not rule out such a possibility completely in the foreseeable future.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 19:57:19.Tatneft’s balance-sheet profit increased 27 percent in 2007 from a year earlier, reaching RUB 64bn (approx. USD 2.62bn), the Tatarstan-based company said in a statement. Its sales revenue rose RUB 198bn (approx. USD 8.1bn), up 13.8 percent from 2006. According to earlier reports, the company’s RAS-based net profit grew 3.6 percent to some RUB 34.29bn (approx. USD 1.4bn) in the first nine months of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 18:22:30.Inflation is expected to range between 5.8 percent and 7 percent in Russia in 2009, Andrei Klepach, head of the Russian Economy Ministry’s macroeconomic forecasting department, told journalists today. This is the revised estimate of social and economic development for 2009-2010, which was discussed during today’s meeting of Russia’s government commission for budget planning. Klepach noted that inflation was expected to reach 7.5-8.5 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, the ministry intends to cut inflation to 5-6 percent by 2010 by means of structural changes in the economy, anti-inflation measures, and stricter monetary policy . Klepach added that the forecast figure could change in the future, but the government was doing everything possible to curb inflation.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 17:45:14.Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy today, the Russian leader’s press office reported. The two Presidents discussed a number of current issues of bilateral cooperation, including affairs in which third countries were involved. Putin also wished Sarkozy a happy birthday.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 16:27:56.Chairman of Russia’s Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov signed invitations to international observers during a press conference today. Among the observers invited to monitor Russia’s presidential election were Churov’s colleagues from Italy, the UK, Mongolia, Poland, and other states, including 70 officials from the OSCE. The number of observers invited to the presidential election remains the same as it was during the last parliamentary election.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Nizhny Novgorod 11:41:59.GAZ Group’s consolidated revenue increased 30 percent to RUB 154bn (approx. USD 6.3bn) in 2007, the Russian automotive giant’s press office reported. Sales on international markets including the CIS grew 40 percent to roughly RUB 10bn (approx. USD 409m).
Commercial passenger car sales rose 9.8 percent to 210,409 cars. GAZ Group attributes the increase to higher retail sales and real disposable incomes, as well as the implementation of national projects in the area of utilities and agriculture. GAZ’s consolidated revenue from sales of commercial passenger cars increased over 22 percent to RUB 49bn (approx. USD 2bn) in 2007. Heavy truck sales grew 47 percent to 15,773 vehicles, while bus sales increased 7.8 percent to 22,344 vehicles, with revenue in this segment rising by almost a quarter to RUB 19.1bn (approx. USD 782m).

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A survivor of six heart attacks and a brain tumor, a grumpy bear of a man, whom has declared Russia as his new and wonderful home. His wife is a true Russian Sweet Pea of a girl and she puts up with this bear of a guy and keeps him in line. Thank God for my Sweet Pea and Russia.