Russia’s far flung steel producing regions are feeling the pinch as industrial growth slows down, reducing the income regions get from corporate income tax. So it’s heartening to see that the billionaire co-founders of Evraz have decided to register as tax payers in the remote Siberian town that is home to the Russian steel group’s biggest rolling mill, hoping their own mammoth personal tax payments will make up some of the shortfall. Read more

Severstal on Tuesday kicked off the reporting season for Russian steel makers with a bit of a whimper, posting its worst quarterly results for more than three years.

The metals and mining group controlled by billionaire Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov suffered a net loss of $150m in Oct-Dec 2012, as falling steel demand and prices weighed on the sector. Read more

At a tough time for global steel markets, Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) has established itself as Russia’s largest steel producer after bringing on stream the country’s first new blast furnace since Soviet times.

But, with steel prices weak, the extra output isn’t generating as much cash as NLMK might have hoped. The group warned of an 8 per cent drop in fourth quarter revenues and a flat Q1 2013. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Russian rail assets are changing hands at high speed as the government relinquishes its grip on the sector and new, privately-owned players compete for ownership of railcar fleets.

Sistema, an oil to telecoms, retail and healthcare conglomerate, has thrown its hat in the ring by making a whopping Rbs23bn ($742m) bid for SG-Trans, a state-controlled liquefied petroleum gas railcar operator. Read more

Evraz, Russia’s largest steelmaker, on Thursday reported a $50m net loss for the six months to the end of June and a 28 per cent decline in ebitda to $1.2bn on a 9.1 per cent drop in revenues to $7.6bn.

With the global steel market in the doldrums, the results came as little surprise, especially after rivals NLMK and Severstal reported their numbers in the last few days. But all three Russian producers are benefiting from reasonably strong infrastructure spending in Russia, not least on the railways. While life is tough, it’s much tougher elsewhere in Europe. Read more