Russian News: November 26th, 2008!

Hot News!RBC, 26.11.2008, Moscow 12:43:51.The average oil price is expected to be $96 per barrel in 2008, Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said during today’s Federation Council session. He added that although the figure currently stood at $98.7 per barrel for the year to date, the current price was $46.7 per barrel.

RBC, 26.11.2008, Moscow 11:48:09.The Federation Council has approved a presidential amendment to the Constitution granting the State Duma more control over the Russian government. As reported earlier, the document stipulates that the Duma will have the right to hear annual reports by the government over the results of its work during the year, including on issues brought forward by the Duma. The amendment has yet to be approved by two thirds of regional legislatures, after which it will be effective upon its official publication.

RBC, 26.11.2008, Moscow 11:34:13.The Federation Council has approved amendments to the Constitution extending the presidential term in office from four to six years and that of the State Duma to five years. The amendments are to be made to Article 81 and Article 96 of the Constitution, respectively. However, they have yet to be approved by at least two thirds of regional legislatures, after which they will come into force upon their official publication.

RBC, 26.11.2008, Vladikavkaz 09:59:03.Mayor Vitaly Korayev of Vladikavkaz, capital of North Ossetia was shot dead at around 9 a.m. today. According to a source in law enforcement, the mayor was injured and died on his way to the hospital. The site was closed off and an investigative team has launched a probe into the murder.

RBC, 25.11.2008, Moscow 17:05:55.The Russian government expects the inflation rate to drop to a one-digit figure in 2010 and just 7 percent in 2012. This forecast is indicated in a plan for the main areas of the government’s activities until 2012 approved by a decree of November 17. The slowdown in inflation is to be achieved by greater output, the development of competition and a competitive environment, labor productivity growth, and a slower rise in costs, the document reads. The government believes that it is necessary to implement a conservative monetary policy and encourage people to save money. It also plans a range of measures aimed at curbing price growth, particularly that of food prices.

RBC, 25.11.2008, Moscow 16:41:16.The Russian-Venezuelan joint naval exercises will improve the two fleets’ skills of holding joint operations, said head of the Russian State Duma’s defense committee Viktor Zavarzin. He reiterated in an interview today that the joint maneuvers would begin in the Caribbean on December 1. Zavarzin emphasized that the planned tactical exercises would be held in accordance with the reached agreements within 100-150 nautical miles off the Venezuelan coast. The fleets will carry out various joint operations, rescue and other training maneuvers, and gunnery practice, Zavarzin said.

RBC, 25.11.2008, Moscow 15:39:00.Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine have agreed that the Ukrainian company will pay off the debt resulting from September natural gas supplies, as well as part of its October gas debt, by December 1, the Russian energy monopoly’s press office reported. The announcement was made following today’s meeting between Gazprom and Naftogaz CEOs Alexei Miller and Oleg Dubina.

RBC, 25.11.2008, Moscow 13:37:13.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed a decree approving the government’s lines of activities until 2012, the government’s press office reported today. The document was drafted to improve the standard of living of Russia’s population thanks to stable development of the country’s economy, as well as ensure cooperation of the federal executive authorities in solving key social and economic problems. The document also enumerates projects to be implemented by the government in the period until 2012.

RBC, 25.11.2008, Moscow 13:44:38.Promsvyazbank’s net profit under IFRS rose 10.7 percent to RUB 3.1bn (approx. USD 112m) in the first nine months of 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier, the Russian bank said in a statement. Meanwhile, this is a 22-percent increase in net profit from H1 2008. Promsvyazbank’s total assets grew 39 percent from the beginning of the year, to RUB 407.6bn (approx. USD 14.74bn), whereas its net profit position corresponds to an annualized return on average equity of 12.9 percent and an annualized return on average assets of 1.2 percent. The bank’s cost-to-income ratio stood at 43.5 percent, while its net interest margin was 6.5 percent, loan impairment allowance to gross loans ratio 3.7 percent, and capital adequacy ratio (Basel Accord) 12.2 percent.