Russian News: November 4th, 2008!

Hot News!RBC, 01.11.2008, Moscow 18:56:04.RussNeft’s net profit under RAS grew almost twofold in January-September 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier, from RUB 4.48bn (approx. USD 165m) to RUB 8.831bn (approx. USD 326m), the Russian oil company said in a statement. According to the document, RussNeft posted a net loss of RUB 3.392bn (approx. USD 125m) in the third quarter, while a net profit of RUB 8.716bn (approx. USD 322m) was reported for Q2. The oil producer attributes the decrease from July to September to falling oil and refined oil product prices and the dollar’s appreciation against the ruble, as well as adjustments in tax obligations.

RBC, 01.11.2008, Moscow 18:28:26.Trading on the Russian stock market finished with its key indices rising considerably. The MICEX index was up 4.78 percent at 766.92 points and the RTS index up 3.75 percent at 802.39 points. On the RTS, Severstal surged 17 percent, MTS rose 7 percent, and LUKoil jumped 9.5 percent, while Gazprom and Norilsk Nickel added over 6 percent each.

RBC, 01.11.2008, Moscow 17:45:28.Aeroflot-Russian Airlines has reached an agreement with several oil companies on the introduction of a pricing formula for jet fuel, the company’s press office said. The oil companies will be represented by Gazprom Neft. The parties came to the agreement while implementing the government’s decisions aiming to eliminate fuel shortages. Airlines and oil companies will now sign long-term contracts that will include a pricing formula effective during the entire period of the contract. The prices indicated by Platts, a leading global provider of energy information, are to be taken as the benchmark when calculating the prices.

RBC, 01.11.2008, Togliatti 17:09:17.The Russian sales of AVTOVAZ shrank 1.6 percent to 533,700 cars during the first ten months of 2008, the Russian automobile producer’s press office reported today. Meanwhile, the company’s exports of Lada cars rose 10.4 percent. In October 2008 alone, AVTOVAZ sold 56,700 vehicles on the Russian market, a 19.3-percent drop from October 2007.

RBC, 01.11.2008, Kiev 16:46:12.Although Ukraine has repeatedly provided reasons for banning several foreign TV channels which did not comply with the Ukrainian law, the Russian Foreign Ministry has continued to stir up tensions over the issue, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s press office said in a statement today. While doing so, Moscow is intentionally distorting facts and misinforming people, the document reads. The Ukrainian authorities’ demands that Russian channels bring their broadcasts in line with the country’s law are absolutely legitimate and have nothing to do with the Russian ministry’s speculations, according to the statement. Among the violations that must be stopped is the advertising of tobacco and alcohol products by Russian channels, as well as their breaches of copyright and the broadcasting of items violating the Ukrainian law on public morality.

RBC, 01.11.2008, Moscow 15:24:03.The combined profits of Russian lending organizations amounted to RUB 367.923bn (approx. USD 13.58bn) in January-September 2008, the Bank of Russia announced in a banking sector overview published today. A total of 1,059 lending organizations (94.2 percent of those operating as of October 1) posted combined total profits of RUB 367.92bn (approx. USD 13.58bn), while only 65 (5.8 percent) reported a total net loss of RUB 13.118bn (approx. USD 484m).

RBC, 01.11.2008, Moscow 13:31:44.Russia’s National Wealth Fund stood at nearly RUB 1.667 trillion (approx. USD 62.82bn) as of November 1, the Finance Ministry’s press office reported today. Of the total amount, RUB 170bn (approx. USD 6.27bn) have been deposited with the Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank). The fund has increased 35.7 percent from RUB 1.229 trillion (approx. USD 47.56bn) in October alone, and more than doubled from RUB 782.8bn (approx. USD 28.89bn) as of February 1, when the fund was first established. The balances of the fund’s foreign currency accounts amounted to USD 20.41bn, EUR 14.07bn, and GBP 2.38bn as of November 1.

RBC, 01.11.2008, Chisinau 11:29:02.Transnistria’s acting Foreign Minister Vladimir Yastrebchak has requested Russia to provide support to the republic in light of the financial crisis, RBC was told in the Transnistrian Foreign Ministry. Yastrebchak noted that the global crisis would apparently affect Transnistria’s industrial production, as well as its banking sector. He also pointed out that Transnistria would like to receive support from Russia in order to implement its social programs, ensure financial stability, and prop up the Transnistrian ruble. Yastrebchak expressed hope that Russia would meet the republic’s request, adding that Transnistria was ready to ensure accountability and transparency in regard to how the funds would be spent.