Russia-China Rivalry In Energy-Rich Central Asia Denied – Analysis
State companies are set to reach 35 percent of profit under International Financial Reporting Standards in 2016, Svetlana Nikitina, a Finance Ministry spokeswoman, said today by phone. The draft budget on the State Dumas website shows estimated payments for 16 companies, including oil pipeline monopoly OAO Transneft, telecommunications operator OAO Rostelecom and airline OAO Aeroflot. Russia is weighing dividend increases to help attract investors and balance the budget after President Vladimir Putin pledged to boost social spending. The government is freezing price growth next year for monopolies including Gazprom and Transneft to fight inflation, while Putin today told state companies to maintain investments to pull the economy out of its slowest growth since a 2009 recession. We are disappointed and hope the government will speed up the dividend reform, Lev Snykov, a partner at Greenwich Capital in Moscow, which holds Russian stocks including Gazprom, said by phone today. The investment attractiveness of state-owned energy companies will clearly suffer should the RAS-based dividend policy remain for longer. Gazprom dropped 1.6 percent to 143.35 rubles, while Transneft sank 1.5 percent and VTB fell 1.3 percent. The government will set companies payouts on an individual basis during the transition period in 2014 and 2015, according to Nikitina. Gazprom, the worlds biggest natural gas producer and Russia s gas pipeline owner, and Transneft plan to pay out 25 percent of 2013 net income under Russian accounting standards. Gazprom said earlier this year it would switch to basing distributions on international-standard profit from 2014, after previously saying it was aiming for the 2013 financial year. A move to international standards isnt realistic before 2015 or 2016, Transneft President Nikolay Tokarev told reporters today in Astrakhan. VTB Chairman Andrey Kostin said yesterday that the bank isnt against paying out 35 percent of net income. German Gref , the head of OAO Sberbank, said last week the lender, majority owned by the central bank, would need additional capital to meet the requirement or may slow lending, according to Prime news service. Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov wasnt immediately available for comment.
“We can confirm the local organizing committee (LOC) will fully support Mr Garcia’s work if he contacts us,” read a statement issued to CNN. “The Russia 2018 committee ran a bid campaign in full compliance with FIFA rules and ethics, and we were awarded the right to host the FIFA World Cup because of the unique and compelling proposition we put together. “The LOC continues to conduct itself with exactly the same degree of transparency, commitment to excellence and spirit of fair play.” Blog: Can the Qatar World Cup be moved? How and where Garcia’s potential meeting with Russia takes place is open to question given in April he was one of 18 people barred from entering the country over what Moscow said were human rights abuses, linked to the lawyer’s arrest and charging of Viktor Bout, a Russian, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. for arms trafficking. News of Garcia’s investigation came ahead of FIFA’s executive committee in Zurich on Thursday and Friday where it will discuss the possibility of moving the 2022 tournament from the usual June and July slot to December. “I will conduct interviews in various places and I hope that those who have some information, even if they are not obliged to give me some, will agree to talk to me,” Garcia told France Football magazine. “My goal is to submit a report that covers the World Cup bidding and awarding process.” Read: FIFA puts heat on Qatar Mark Pieth, who will leave his post as chairman of the Independent Governance Committee at the end of the year, said Garcia’s task isn’t easy. “He’s in a very awkward situation,” Pieth told CNN. “He has no police powers. He can’t just walk into an office in Dubai and say, ‘I want these files and I want all your hard disks.’ “He has to use the techniques of an international investigator and so the big question is, even if there’s evidence around, will he find it? We don’t know. What I can do is make sure he gets the manpower and he gets the resources, the money, to run this.” FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the 2022 tournament has been particularly criticized, with many suggesting the oppressive heat in the Gulf state makes staging the World Cup there impractical and dangerous.
UPDATE 4-Russia to cut stake in diamond miner Alrosa
She was indicted in 2011 on charges she submitted more than 40 stolen prescriptions for pills By Shayna Jacobs / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 10:13 PM Comment Marc A. Hermann for New York Daily News Former Miss Russia Anna Malova leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after updating a judge on her status with a drug treatment program. A Manhattan drug court judge tossed charges against a pill-addicted former Miss Russia on Tuesday. Anna Malova , 42, a former Miss Universe contestant, insisted shes clean and reformed after spending two years in drug treatment. She was indicted in 2011 after allegedly submitting more than 40 stolen prescriptions for Vicodin and Klonopin, and was later rearrested for shoplifting. Ive learned my lesson . . . I look at the world with clear eyes, the sharply dressed blond said after receiving a certificate of achievement from the court. Her attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said she deserves enormous credit for overcoming addiction and mental health issues . . . She has had real ups and downs and has had to fight to accomplish this graduation. Prosecutors fought the decision, arguing her track record in the program was uneven and that she had many relapses. She is also still on Suboxone, an anti-depressant that has been prescribed to her, they pointed out.
Manhattan judge tosses drug charges against former Miss Russia Anna Malova
In Kyrgyzstan, Xi signed an accord on a strategic partnership with China, unveiling plans to invest U.S. $3 billion in the country including a new gas route from Turkmenistan to Xinjiang, the KyrTAG news agency said. Silk Road belt Speaking in Kazakhstan, Xi also called for a new level of engagement with Central Asia, urging creation of a Silk Road economic belt, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Under the plan, countries would green-light regional economic integration in terms of both policy and law, Xinhua reported. Xi said neighboring nations should improve transit links and facilitate trade by promoting local currency settlements. China has often invoked the Silk Road before, but Xis proposals on transit links from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea suggested a new drive to reach a market that he called unparalleled in scale and potential. The scope and scale of Chinas attention to the region seems to have Russia worried that it is taking a back seat. On Sept. 9, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov tried to dispel that impression. Central Asia is an important area of Russia-China relations, Morgulov told reporters, according to Interfax. We are not competing with each other in Central Asia but are adjusting our policies to reflect mutual interests, he said. Serious concerns The explanation masked the seriousness of Moscows concerns, said Edward Chow, senior fellow in the energy and national security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. I think they protest too much, Chow said.
Alrosa’s shares rose 6 percent to 38.5 roubles on Wednesday. “The asset is unique – at the moment Alrosa has no direct peers among public companies,” Barclays Capital analyst Vladimir Sergievsky said. De Beers, Alrosa’s most direct competitor, delisted in 2001 and is now 85 percent owned by Anglo. “Investors who buy Alrosa shares will get exposure to the consumer sector, which is unusual for mining companies. Demand should be good.” Analysts also point to a positive outlook for diamond prices in the longer term, with demand expected to outpace supply towards the end of this decade, as existing mines age with new deposits unlikely. The last major mine was discovered in 1997. The roadshow ahead of the sale is expected to start around Oct. 14, with the deal set to close by the end of the month. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and VTB Capital are joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the offering. Renaissance Capital is a joint bookrunner. Following the sale, Russia’s federal and regional governments will own 43.9 percent and 25 percent respectively.