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. Read more

Nikolai Tokarev, the president of Transneft, Russia’s state oil pipeline monopoly, rarely gives interviews let alone criticizes the company’s business partners in public. So it’s puzzling to see the former KGB officer airing complaints about the Summa Group, Transneft’s co-shareholder at Novorossiysk Commercial Sea port, Russia’s biggest stevedoring company. Read more

A Russian government plan to boost state revenues could bring unexpected benefits to investors.

Ministers are mulling much-discussed proposals to increase the dividends paid by state-controlled companies from a ratio of around 14 per cent of net profits in 2011 to 25 per cent. If dividends are increased, it would naturally raise payouts to all shareholders, foreign investors included. Citigroup says that shareholders in other big Russian companies could also profit, since these might follow the state’s example. Read more