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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Rostelecom Bond

The Moscow Times

Rostelecom's leasing arm, RTC-Leasing, intends to raise 500 million rubles ($17.4 million) through a bond placement, company representatives said Friday, Prime-Tass reported.

The placement, set for Wednesday and arranged by Trust and Investment Bank, marks the first loan RTC-Leasing has raised without guarantees from national long-distance monopoly Rostelecom, which has a 27.3 percent stake. The conversion period for the bonds will be 180 days.

The company plans next year to address foreign capital markets and is looking into the placement of Eurobonds, which could provide relatively cheap financing, said RTC-Leasing director Mikhail Margolin, Prime-Tass reported.

RTC-Leasing — which over the past five years has leased out around $400 million through some 200 projects that involve mostly telecoms and hi-tech equipment to Rostelecom subsidiaries — expects to attract no less than $50 million on foreign markets, Margolin said, Prime-Tass reported.




No. 8 in CIS Growth

The Moscow Times

Russia finished eighth in industrial growth among the CIS countries January on January, Prime-Tass reported Friday.

According to the State Statistics Committee, Kyrgyzstan came on top with 45.1 percent growth, followed by Ukraine (19.5 percent), Moldova (18.7 percent), Armenia (16.5), Tajikistan (14.4 percent), Kazakhstan (11.6 percent) and Azerbaijan (5.4 percent).

Russia recorded 5.3 percent industrial growth.

Below Russia were Belarus with 3.7 percent and Georgia with a 10.6 percent decline. No data were available on Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.




Energy Needs $120Bln

The Moscow Times

Russia's power industry will need some $120 billion between 2001 and 2015 to increase capacity, experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences said at a conference on the energy sector Thursday, Interfax reported.

The experts said the modernization of old facilities will require some $15 billion from 2001 to 2005, $40 billion from 2006 to 2010 and $64 billion from 2011 to 2015.

According to the scientists, electricity consumption is increasing by 4 percent each year, which could result in a capacity shortfall as early as 2003.

The scientists said the energy sector needs support from the government, in particular on technical modernization.




Russian Aluminum Nod

Reuters

The Anti-Monopoly Ministry could approve the merger of Russian Aluminum assets in the first half of April, Anti-Monopoly Minister Ilya Yuzhanov said Friday.

Russian Aluminum, Russia's largest aluminum group, was formed about a year ago by Siberian Aluminum and shareholders in oil major Sibneft, but needs ministry approval before all assets can be fully incorporated.

"I think we'll approve it in March, but as the month's nearly over it's more likely to take effect in the first 10 days of April — the documents are already going through," Yuzhanov said.

The new company unites Russia's biggest aluminum plants — Bratsk, Krasnoyarsk and Sayansk — as well as Achinsk and the Nikolayev Alumina Plant in Ukraine. It controls over 70 percent of Russia's primary aluminum output, which amounted to 2,135,445 tons last year.




Stock Options Law

Vedomosti

Under a new draft law soon to hit the State Duma, company managers could be entitled to options for up to 5 percent of their company's shares.

The law aims to get managers to take an interest in increasing the value of their company's stock once they have the option of buying these shares at a lower price, as established by law.

The options will be placed in the same way as for securities convertible into shares. The company's charter must provide for shares that have not yet been placed and that will be used for the performance of option obligations.

The volume of options issued must not exceed 5 percent of the charter capital, and the decision to sell managers options may require approval at a general shareholders meeting.




Georgia, IMF Talks

Reuters

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgia, facing difficulties fulfilling its budget this year, is counting on long-term cooperation with its main creditor, the International Monetary Fund, a senior government official said.

The IMF suspended its financing to the ex-Soviet republic at the end of 1999 as some conditions were not met, but the fund's board decided to resume lending with a new three-year program worth $141 million in January.

"The IMF checks us every three months, and my forecast is that, even if we don't fulfill some of the fund's recommendations, this will not lead to a halting of the IMF program," Georgian State Minister Georgy Arsenishvili said in an interview late Thursday.

After the fund resumed support for Georgia, the country's main fiscal indicators worsened and the Tax Ministry said budget revenue targets for the first two months of 2001 were only fulfilled by 91 percent.

Arsenishvili pointed to an acute energy crisis, especially at the start of the year when the government had to allocate extra funds for importing natural gas from Russia. "This money had been set aside for salaries and pensions," he said.

He added that the energy crisis was one of the main reasons for work stoppages at many enterprises, which were then unable to transfer money to the budget.