Russia is pushing ahead with a $4.9bn project to expand the East Siberian Pacific Ocean oil export pipeline as surging oil demand from China and other east Asian consumers attracts oil sales at the expense of Europe.
Transneft, Russia’s state pipeline monopoly, won government approval for its investment program on Tuesday clearing the way for Espo’s capacity to more than double by 2020. Continue reading »
Investors look to Dmitry Medvedev (left) to champion the cause for privatization. But Russia’s prime minister hardly sounded overly confident as he reviewed the government’s plans to sell off state assets on Monday.
“We have quite serious plans to raise around Rbs200bn ($5.7bn) from privatisations this year and I hope the plan will be fulfilled,” Medvedev told a government meeting. “We should not drag it out, but at the same time we should consider the economic circumstances in the world and in the country.” Continue reading »
Russian potash producer Uralkali has decided to invest in port infrastructure in Brazil in a move to bolster its position in the world’s fastest growing fertilizer market.
In a statement on Friday, Uralkali said it had acquired a 25 per cent of Equiplan Participaceos, the main shareholder in Terminais Portuarios da Ponta do Felix, a terminal in the city of Antonina on Brazil’s southern coast. Continue reading »
Auto sales in Russia dropped 5.5 per cent in 2013 in another sign that the consumer boom is over.
A total of 2.78m new passenger cars and light and commercial vehicles were sold in Russia last year, 5.5 per cent below the record level set in 2012, the Association of European Businesses, a business lobby group, said on Wednesday. Continue reading »
Gazprom boosted gas exports to Europe to record levels last year, as customers negotiated price discounts and competition from rival international gas producers fell away.
But the rebound in sales to Europe was not matched in the domestic market where Russia’s natural gas monopoly continued to lose ground to local independent gas producers. Continue reading »
Novatek has taken a final investment decision on the Yamal LNG project, paving the way for the launch of the pioneering liquefied natural gas venture in the Russian Arctic.
Legal amendments approved by the Russian parliament last month allowing rivals of Gazprom to export LNG are working wonders for Russia’s pushy independent gas producer. Continue reading »
Russia has picked a symbol for the rouble kitting out the five centuries old national currency with a contemporary new look to rival the US dollar ($), the British pound (£) and the Japanese yen (¥) . It’s time for traders to take the rouble more seriously.
Hit by hyperinflation in the chaotic early 1990s and then by repeated devaluations, Russia’s rouble has become associated with trouble since the Soviet Union collapsed. Continue reading »
Museum Nicholas Roerich, Moscow
Depositors who lost their savings when Russia’s Master Bank was closed down last week can at least hope for some compensation from government-backed insurers. But there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for the museum in Moscow that depends on Master Bank’s now discredited chairman for a living.
Boris Bulochnik has not been seen in public since the Russian central bank revoked Master Bank’s license last week citing “large scale suspicious operations” and a Rbs2bn balance sheet hole. Continue reading »
The battle between Russia and Belarus over potash assets that has roiled global fertiliser markets this year has not thrown Moscow-based Eurochem off track. The Russian agrochemicals group is expanding its international reach with a joint venture to produce fertilizers in China.
Eurochem announced plans on Thursday to enter a joint venture with Toronto-listed Migao Corporation, the China-based specialty potash fertilizer manufacturer, that will open the door to the highly prospective Chinese market for crop nutrients. Continue reading »
The Russian parliament dealt Gazprom a blow on Friday, passing legislation that will allow independent gas producers to export liquefied natural gas.
But read the small print of the law and it’s not as bad for Russia’s natural gas monopoly as it sounds. Only two independents will be permitted to muscle into the LNG export business and the scope of their operations will be limited to specific gas fields. Continue reading »
Russian collectors are a growing force on the booming global art market, where prices for trophy works are beating all-time records. But it is Russian art that will take centre stage next week as leading auction houses in London offer an eclectic range of important works from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Russian art is not yet fully appreciated by international connoisseurs. But rich Russians can’t get enough of it. They’re prepared to fork out huge sums for a slice of their national heritage. Continue reading »
Ukraine has stepped back from the brink of another gas war with Russia and resumed gas imports from its powerful neighbour after a one week lull.
It’s a relief for the EU that relies on Ukraine as a transit hub for most of its Russian imports. But reconciliation of the latest gas spat could be part of a poker game that Moscow and Kiev are playing in the run up to the EU summit in Vilnius. Continue reading »
Moscow: the sign says it all
Philanthropy in Russia was killed off in Soviet times, but is making a comeback as the new rich begin to take some responsibility for the welfare of the nation.
However, Russia-based donors hand out paltry sums to charitable causes compared to their counterparts the US, UK and China, according to a report released by Coutts this week. Continue reading »
Russia and Vietnam signed a raft of economic agreements on Tuesday that will strengthen their strategic partnership and counter rising Chinese influence in southeast Asia.
The deals, signed during a visit by Vladimir Putin to Vietnam, will see Russia step up involvement in Vietnamese energy markets and help boost security in the country that has been a close Kremlin ally since Soviet times. “Vietnam has been a long-term, trustworthy partner for Russia and the political dialogue between the two countries is at a high level,” Putin told reporters after talks with Truong Tan Sang, his Vietnamese counterpart. Continue reading »
Scheme of the ESPO oil pipeline route | Source: Centre for Eastern Studies
Rosneft’s plans to step up oil deliveries to China will strain Russia’s new eastern oriented export pipelines to the limit. A preliminary deal struck on Monday will see Kazakhstan come to the rescue shipping oil on Rosneft’s behalf through its own pipeline to the Chinese frontier.
It’s a set back for Transneft, but the Russian state oil pipeline monopoly will probably have to lump it. Continue reading »