Russian News: July 29th, 2008!

RBC, 29.07.2008, Moscow 11:51:33.NOVATEK’s natural gas production rose 1.9 percent in the first half of 2008 compared to the same period of the previous year, the press office of Russia’s second-largest gas company said today. Oil and gas condensate output increased 2.4 percent to 1.24m tonnes, and 1.066m tonnes of unstable gas condensate was processed at NOVATEK’s Purovsky plant.

RBC, 28.07.2008, Moscow 19:57:43.Russia’s Economy Ministry has downgraded its oil exports forecast for 2008 to 249m tonnes from the previous reading of 251m-256m tonnes, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach told journalists today. Simultaneously, the ministry raised its natural gas exports forecast from 202.8bn cubic meters to 205bn cubic meters.

RBC, 28.07.2008, Moscow 18:54:59.The Bank of Russia could revise its inflation forecast for 2008 upwards, but the new rate will most likely be below the one anticipated by the Economy Ministry (11.8 percent), the bank’s First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev told journalists today. The bank’s current forecast is 10.5 percent.

RBC, 28.07.2008, Moscow 16:33:36.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has commissioned the Foreign Ministry to sign an agreement with Montenegro on the terms of travel of either country’s citizens to the other one, the government’s press office reported today. The document provides for a visa-free travel between the two countries if the duration of the stay does not exceed 30 days from the date of arrival. The draft agreement has been approved by the Russian government.

RBC, 28.07.2008, Moscow 15:59:49.The situation around the Russian metals and mining company Mechel must become a lesson for the entire Russian market, Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich was cited by the Vesti TV channel as saying today. He expressed hope that all Russian companies, regardless of their size, would conduct their business in a civilized manner. The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has already been auditing Mechel’s operations for several weeks, Dvorkovich noted, adding that the regulator would make a decision in due time. The antitrust watchdog has a right to impose sanctions on Mechel, and will certainly do it if the company has violated the law, Dvorkovich stated. Meanwhile, he pointed out that Mechel had been cooperating with the anti-monopoly service and had provided it with all necessary information.

RBC, 28.07.2008, Moscow 14:11:41.It will take the Russian stock market at least three months to recover from its significant fall on July 25, 2008, analysts told RBC. Although a technical rebound is possible in morning trade, risks are running high and investor sentiment is downbeat, weighing on the prices of Russian companies. A minimum of three months is needed to improve the country’s investment climate, experts indicate.

RBC, 28.07.2008, Moscow 12:33:31.LUKOIL Eurasia Petrol A.S., a LUKoil subsidiary, has acquired a 100-percent stake in Turkey’s fuel distribution company Akpet. The deal was signed by LUKoil’s President Vagit Alekperov and Akpet’s owners in Istanbul today. The size of the deal has not been revealed.