SPIEF in Brief

Russia and China Sign Agreement to Build Cross-Border Bridge

Russia and China have signed an agreement to build a bridge over a section of the Amur River at the border between the two countries.

The two sides plan to start construction of the bridge, which will be 2.2 kilometers long, at the end of 2013. Only 309 meters of the bridge will be in Russia's Jewish autonomous region, while the rest will be on the Chinese side of the border.

The initial projected cost of construction to the Russian side is 9 billion rubles ($274.7 million), said Pavel Grachev, general director of the Far East and Baikal region development fund.

But he said the figure would be confirmed following a tender, and that he expects the figure to fall.

Grachev said it would be possible to involve private investors at a later date. At present, the development fund is financing the project itself. (MT)

Rosneft to Supply Additional Oil to China

Rosneft will sign an agreement to supply additional oil to China, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

The minister said the government will have the final word on the issue of increasing oil supplies to China via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, as well as Rosneft's plans to build a petrochemical plant in the Primorsky region to process 30 million tons of oil, Interfax reported.

The agreement forsees the supply of an additional 800,000 tons of oil to China in 2013 and two million tons the next year.

Rosneft said it would be able to cope with the increase and provide the appropriate production volume. (MT)

Shipbuilders Seek Foreign Partner

The government, prompted by the inability of Russian shipbuilders to produce ships on time, is looking into finding a strategic foreign partner for the Russian shipbuilding industry, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.

"It is an unacceptable situation. The country has lost a lot of money building ships in France, Germany, Finland, Korea and so on," he said.

A search is already underway to find investors, with the government and the United Shipbuilding Corporation discussing how best to enter into negotiations with potential suitors.

According to Rogozin, any such partner should be willing to transfer technology to Russia or else invest money in the creation of a new shipyard. (MT)

Weaker Ruble Won't Bring Growth

Ruble devaluation will not contribute to economic growth, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Alexei Ulyukayev said.

"I do not believe it would help the economy. I will not go into specifics explaining why, but it affects various sectors of the economy and various economic agents in different ways," Ulyukayev told journalists.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said earlier this week that his ministry would use money from the Reserve Fund to buy currency, starting in August. The measure would weaken the ruble, help the economy, and increase tax revenue, he said.

The purchase by the Finance Ministry of foreign currency on the market won't have an impact on the exchange rate, Ulyukayev said at the forum. (MT)

Russian Railways to Sell Aeroexpress

Russian Railways is planning to sell its share in Aeroexpress by the end of this year, company vice president Valery Reshetnikov told journalists.

Russian Railways currently holds 50 percent of shares in Aeroexpress. Reshetnikov had previously said the company would sell only half of its stake, Interfax reported.

Olga Dergounova, head of the Federal Property Agency, said an auction or a tender would be held for the Aeroexpress shares.

"We believe that the method of competitive negotiation will maximize value," she said.

Andrei Bokarev, one of the owners of Aeroexpress, estimated the value of a 50 percent share at 600 million to 700 million rubles (about $18 million to $20 million). (MT)

Capital Outflow Doubles Between April and May

The outflow of capital from Russia doubled in May compared with April, Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said.

There are "complex reasons" for the increase, he said. "Perhaps we first of all need to understand why the outflow fell in April."

The bank does not yet plan to retract its $10 billion official annual capital outflow forecast based solely on this figure. (MT)

For the Record

BP CEO Elected to Rosneft Board

BP CEO Robert Dudley will be the lone representative of the British company on the nine-member Rosneft board elected Thursday, Interfax reported. (MT)

Sistema Mulls Buying Investlesprom

Sistema may buy forestry products group Investlesprom from VTB for over $500 million, Sistema's chief owner Vladimir Yevtushenkov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Interfax reported. (MT)

RusAl, Israeli Firm to Produce Car Parts

RusAl and Israeli company Omen High Pressure Die Casting have signed a memorandum to produce automotive components in a $12 million joint venture, Interfax reported. (MT)

Privatization of Rostelecom Not For Discussion

Communications and Mass Media Minister Yury Nikiforov said that reforms of Svyazinvest and Rostelecom are being brought to a close at the present time, but that privatization of the latter company is not on the table, Interfax reported. (MT)