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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Year of War, Elections and Stabilization

Jan. 10 -- Analysts estimate the Chechen war will cost $4.1 billion, threaten rampant inflation and break the Russian 1995 budget. No cost was ever released and inflation continued to decline throughout the year.





Jan. 11 -- Russian three-month Treasury bills reach a two-year high, with annualized yields averaging 323 percent. They will remain the year's most lucrative investment.





Jan. 24 -- President Boris Yeltsin sacks his controversial privatization chief, Vladimir Polevanov. His replacement, Sergei Belyayev, is named Feb. 8.





Jan. 24 -- Sewing machine firm Singer, owned by Canada's Semi-Tech Corp., spends $10 million on a 70 percent equity stake in the Russian firm Kontsern Podolsk, the only producer of sewing machines in the Commonwealth of Independent States.





Feb. 3 -- Komineft faces irate investors who learned that the company diluted stock by secretly issuing $4.5 million in shares in May 1994.





Feb. 10 -- A series of blows to investor confidence and falling energy stock prices drive the Moscow Times Index to 104.3, its lowest level of the year.





Feb. 23 -- RJ Reynolds Tobacco International announces that it will invest a further $100 million in Russia and the CIS over the next few years.





March 10 -- Russia and the International Monetary Fund sign an agreement paving the way in April for a $6.5 billion standby loan to plug a budget deficit and pressure macroeconomic reforms.





March 31 -- Yeltsin signs the 1995 federal budget into law, barely meeting an April 1 deadline.





March 31 -- Russia's monthly inflation rate falls to 8.9 percent from 11 percent in February and a high of 17.8 percent in January.





April 1 -- A presidential decree orders a major restructuring of Russia's oil business and sets the stage for privatization of the country's largest oil firm, Rosneft.





April 5 -- The Russian stock market is dealt another blow with word that Primorsky Shipping Co. on the Pacific coast diluted stock by doubling the number of its shares, then sold them to its own subsidiary. Stockholders later give their grudging approval after winning the opportunity to buy the shares themselves.





April 12 -- The ruble drops below the 5,000-to-the-dollar exchange rate for the first time. It later gains ground during a spring growth spurt.





April 13 -- Pioneer Group Inc. purchases a 51 percent stake in the First Investment Voucher Fund.





April 20 -- A consortium of six Russian banks first proposes the controversial loans-for-shares program to lend the government money in return for state shares in major companies.


April 26 -- The Moscow Times Index hits a dollar-adjusted low of 54.41.





April 29 to May 5 -- The ruble hits an all-time low of 5,130 to the dollar. It will fall to the same rate again from May 3 to May 5.





May 3 -- Severnoye Siyaniye, a Unilever subsidiary in St. Petersburg, announces that it will be the first foreign-owned company to buy land in Russia in more than 80 years. The cosmetics company will buy 7,959 square meters in the city's center.





May 4 -- CS First Boston heads Boris Jordan and Stephen Jennings leave the firm with 23 co-workers to start their own investment bank, Renaissance Capital. Under their leadership, CSFB dominated 60 percent of Russia's portfolio investment, accounting for $1.2 billion.





May 22 -- Cadbury Schweppes plc of Britain announces its construction of a $118 million plant near St. Petersburg. Russian distributer Rostel has a 30 percent stake in the deal.





May 23 -- Russian share prices take off, the Moscow Times Index rising 8.76 points to settle at 153.56, its highest mark since the Oct. 11, 1994 ruble crash.





May 26 -- Paul Tatum, embattled partner in the Radisson Slavjanskaya Hotel and Americom Business Centers, wins a reprieve when the Moscow City Court overturns his eviction. The case is referred to arbitration in Stockholm.





June 19 -- Continuing a six-week rally, the ruble rises 75 points in a single day to close at 4,590 to the dollar. It has gained more than 10 percent since reaching its lowest point in May.





June 22 -- Yeltsin unveils his 1996 federal budget plan.





June 30 -- Exxon Corp. takes the biggest plunge to date by an American oil company in Russia when it signs on for 30 percent of a $15 billion deal with Russian's Rosneft and Sakhalinmorneftegaz and Japan's Sodeco to develop oil and gas fields off Sakhalin Island.


July 1 -- A hike in import tariffs threatens to increase food prices in Moscow by up to 30 percent.





July 5 -- The Finance Ministry and Central Bank announce a soft peg on the ruble aimed at keeping the currency between 4,300 and 4,900 to the dollar until Oct. 1. The corridor was extended until Dec. 31, with new parameters later adopted for after Jan. 1 from 4,550 to 5,150 to the dollar.





July 7 -- The Moscow Times ruble index of 50 actively traded stocks hits its high for the year at 196.13. The dollar index will follow on July 10 at 94.95.


July 11 -- Local financial markets dip temporarily after Yeltsin is rushed to the hospital complaining of chest pains -- which his press service later says are not cause for alarm -- but the world oil, gas and dollar markets ignore the news.





July 11 -- Red October becomes the first Russian firm to face a hostile takeover bid when frozen food maker Koloss publicly advertises its attempt. The bid fails on July 25, but Koloss' financial backer, Menatep Bank, persuades the chocolate maker to give it two seats on the board.





July 17 -- Russia begins talks for entry to the World Trade Organization.





July 26 -- A presidential decree paves the way for the nation's first Western-style mutual funds, aimed at tapping the estimated $20 billion Russians are believed to keep at home.





Aug. 4 -- Prominent Russian banker Ivan Kivelidi, chairman of Rosbiznesbank and founder of the Russian Business Roundtable, dies of poisoning. One estimate places at 46 the number of prominent businessmen murdered during the past three years. Business leaders rally, launching their own search for the killers and offering a $1 million reward. The killers have not been found.





Aug. 7 to 11 -- The ruble hits its highest mark, 4,405 to the dollar, since posting an all-time low on April 29.





Aug. 9 -- Privatization chief Belyayev quits his post to pursue politics, and is succeeded by Alfred Kokh.


Aug. 18 -- The Agriculture Ministry announces that Russia's grain harvest could be as low as 68 million tons.





Aug. 22 -- The former Subway Sandwiches in St. Petersburg reopens under a new name, minus its foreign owners, but its trademark yellow tables and traditional menu remain as the Minutka Cafe. The restaurant closed in July amid wrangling between its Russian and American partners.





Aug. 24 -- Ten banks are unable to make payments on the Moscow interbank currency market and trading grinds to a halt. The Central Bank pours more than 1 trillion rubles ($222 million) into the financial markets, but the local liquidity crisis becomes a general crisis of confidence. Although light trading resumes Sept. 1, the effects of the day continue to be felt.





Sept. 15 -- Foreign representative offices must pay their excess wage tax, which was postponed from April.





Sept. 18 -- U.S. Atlantic Richfield buys $250 million worth of LUKoil stock, giving it equity and production interest in one of Russia's corporate jewels.





Sept. 25 -- The government names 29 enterprises to be included in the loans-for-shares deal, under which government stock in the companies will be auctioned off for credits. Originally numbering 46 firms, the list ultimately shrinks to 16 before auctions begin in November.





Sept. 27 -- Russia issues its first post-Communist government savings bond, creating the first investment opportunity open to the general public.





Oct. 7 -- Talks begin with the International Monetary Fund for a reported $9 billion, three-year loan. The money, expected to be approved in January or February, would support both macroeconomic goals and structural reforms in areas such as taxation and land reform.





Oct. 9 -- A Western-led consortium developing Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea oil fields announces its decision to transport the initial output through both Georgia and Russia, meaning that for the first time Russia will not be the sole international conduit of Caspian Sea oil to the West.





Oct. 18 -- Mosenergo becomes the first Russian company to raise money through a private placement using American Depositary Receipts.





Oct. 19 -- Lawyers for U.S. Global Health, one of the few foreign medical clinics in Moscow, announce that the business will be liquidated. The announcement comes only seven months after the center won a U.S. court battle with rival American Medical Center.





Oct. 26 -- Yeltsin suffers a second heart ailment in three months. Russian markets recover from a slight dip to remain mostly stagnant the rest of the year.





Oct. 26 -- Advertising industry heavyweight Bozell SNG pulls out of the Russian market, handing its operations over to fellow U.S. agency YAR Communications Inc. The firm said a lack of core Western clients and consistent revenue led to the decision.





Nov. 1 -- The Professional Association of Stock Market Participants, or Paufor, launches its new stock index called the Russian Trading System. Comprised of 13 blue-chip stocks, it is the first index to track actual trades.





Nov. 3 -- Stakes in Surgutneftegaz auctioned under the government's loans-for-shares scheme go to the company's own pension fund, kicking off the controversial second stage of privatization.





Nov. 6 -- The confectionery firm Mars wins a presidential decree abolishing tariffs on 50 percent of all imports, a privilege for investing more than $100 million in capital development.





Nov. 16 -- Russia wins a 20-year rescheduling deal for its payment of $30 billion owed to the London Club of commercial debtors, setting the stage for increased Russian access to international capital markets.





Nov. 22 -- The Duma approves Sergei Dubinin as permanent chairman of the Central Bank. The move follows Yeltsin's Nov. 8 dismissal of Tatyana Paramonova, who had been acting head, and ends a 13-month wrangle over the post between the legislature and president.





Dec. 4 -- The November inflation rate dips to 4.5 percent, part of a continuing downward trend but far higher than the 1.9 percent monthly inflation forecast for the 1996 budget.





Dec. 8 -- General Motors Corp. and the government sign a $250 million deal to build four-wheel-drive vehicles at a Russian car factory.





Dec. 17 -- Communists vying for seats in the Duma win 22 percent at the polls to become the legislative body's leading party. Foreign and domestic businessmen treat the elections with caution, but maintain that business will continue as usual.





Dec. 19 -- The Federation Council overwhelmingly passes two key bills -- the draft 1996 federal budget and an oil production-sharing agreement that could unlock $60 billion to $70 billion in foreign investment. Yeltsin signed the production-sharing bill Dec. 30, but the legislation still is unclear on some major points.