Russian News: September 26th, 2008!

Hot News!

RBC, 26.09.2008, Moscow 12:35:07.The Russian stock market is expected to recover fully by mid-October, experts told RBC TV today. Until the end of September, the market will likely continue a moderately downward trend, with certain stocks remaining highly volatile. The trade volume depends not only on margin lending that resumes now on the market, analysts say, but also on government support anticipated to begin October 1. Investors will not take any active steps until then, experts note, or until US Congress decisions have been announced. The oil sector is expected to be the most attractive for investment during the next three to four months. Although Gazprom and Rosneft are currently under pressure, their shares, as well as those of LUKoil and Surgutneftegas, are projected to become the Russian market’s best performers from October 1. In particular, analysts indicate that LUKoil is the most undervalued Russian company at the moment.

RBC, 26.09.2008, Moscow 11:59:46.The Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom expects Australia to ratify a nuclear cooperation agreement, a high-ranking source close to the sector told journalists today. Russia is of course interested in the ratification, the source said, adding however that it was of no great importance for the country’s nuclear industry. Russia and Australia are equally interested in cooperation, the source noted – the former in terms of the diversification of uranium supplies and the latter in terms of uranium sales diversification. Russia’s participation in uranium production in Australia, including an asset swap, was discussed as part of the agreement, the source pointed out.

RBC, 26.09.2008, Moscow 10:28:50.Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet today with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, who has arrived in Russia on a short working visit. The talks are to take place in Orenburg, where Chavez is scheduled to go after Moscow. During his visit to Russia, several bilateral agreements on energy, scientific, and technological cooperation are to be signed. The Russian and Venezuelan leaders are also expected to visit a military range close to Orenburg, where the final stage of a large-scale exercise will take place.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Samara 18:44:09.Russia’s potential WTO partners have lost interest in its entry into the organization, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told leaders of the Agrarian Party in the Samara region today. He noted that WTO member states had apparently lost motivation to accept Russia. The country fulfills all commitments even without being a WTO member, Putin stressed, so there is actually no need for them to allow it to join the organization. He pointed out that Russia’s partners had to realize that the process of entry to the WTO was not easy and that concessions were necessary from both sides.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Samara 17:55:23.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin believes that the government and the Central Bank’s measures taken to address the recent financial crisis were absolutely fitting and efficient. He made this statement during today’s meeting with representatives of regional offices of the United Russia political party in Samara. Putin reiterated that the global markets were shattered primarily because the leading economies, including the US, were pursuing an unfortunate economic and financial policy. However, he stressed that Russia was strong enough to overcome the crisis, allowing it to remain secure amidst the present global crisis.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Samara 18:17:28.Russia is not making excessive claims to the Arctic Shelf, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told the representatives of the United Russia political party’s regional branches, adding that the country’s claims were in line with current international law. Russia intends to develop relations with its Arctic Shelf partners on a friendly basis, while simultaneously protecting its own interests, the PM stressed. He also noted that he did not understand why Russia’s partners had reacted so sharply when Russia clarified its position on the Arctic Shelf. Putin reiterated that the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Norway, Denmark, Canada, and the US had recently held a meeting on the matter. The Ministers have agreed that the problem would be resolved in accordance with existing international legal base, particularly maritime law.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Moscow 14:16:25.Russia may become the strongest financial center in Eastern Europe in the next five to seven years, Russian Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said during a lecture at the International University in Moscow. He indicated that at the moment Russia could not be considered a global financial center, but stated that Moscow itself was steadily becoming a financial center of the CIS. With that in mind, in the next 10 to 15 years Russia could be ranked among the top eight global financial centers, Dvorkovich noted. He added that the process could have been expedited if Russia created an offshore zone, stressing, however, that this would have harmed Russia’s image.

RBC, 25.09.2008, Moscow 16:58:51.At the request of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the government will allocate RUB 500bn (approx. USD 19.94bn) to stabilize the stock market by buying out shares of Russian companies, making those with a government stake the first priority, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told representatives of the United Russia political party’s regional branches. The government will be buying out undervalued stocks, Putin noted, pointing out that it expected them to rise.