MOSCOW. Sept 18 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on Sept 18. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.
POLITICS & ECONOMICS
Taking advantage of the market upturn, Russia's Central Bank is moving ahead with the long-awaited sale of a 7.58% stake in Sberbank, the country's largest lender. The order book was filled in a single day Monday. The deal will raise more than $5 billion, though the price will be less than the previously targeted 100 rubles per share (Kommersant, p. 1; Vedomosti, p. 1).
Vnesheconombank (VEB) is beginning its first project in transport infrastructure construction outside of Russia. The state bank could become the key investor in a $1.5 billion project to build a new subway line in Kyiv. VEB is already holding negotiations with Russian companies that might become the general contractors for the project (Kommersant, p. 1).
The chief editor of news agency RIA Novosti, Svetlana Mironyuk could face a fine for publishing true information about a former Interior Ministry investigator involved in a criminal case. In a potentially precedent-setting case, prosecutors have unexpectedly moved to pursue a complaint concerning disclosure of personal information about the former investigator, who now works for the Kremlin administration (Vedomosti, p. 1).
Russia's Economic Development Ministry is proposing that the government invest an unprecedented 1.5 trillion rubles in infrastructure bonds in 2013-2015. Some 48 major infrastructure projects costing 9.6 trillion rubles are supposed to be implemented in the country in the next three years, according to a ministry report submitted to the government (Vedomosti, p. 7).
Russian industrial production in August slumped by 0.2% in nominal terms and 0.7% when seasonally adjusted. The statistics confirm that Russian industry was in complete stagnation this summer. Higher oil prices in the third quarter and the non-catastrophic development of the European crisis will likely return Russian industry to slow, shaky growth starting in September or October (Kommersant, p. 8).
OIL & GAS
Gazprom does not need to worry about future cooperation with Europe, despite the European Commission's antitrust probe into the Russian gas giant, analysts at Renaissance Capital believe. The company has penetrated deep into European infrastructure and the latest claims are a chance to more actively seek compromises (Vedomosti, p. 3).
The St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange will begin trading futures on gasoline and diesel fuel in October. The market will be open to both businesses and retail investors. The exchange reckons the futures will make it possible to hedge against rising fuel prices, which have gone up by 9% since the start of the year (Vedomosti, p. 7).
Interview: Ruslan Goryukhin, CEO of Stroygazmontazh (Kommersant, p. 14).
Government funding for the military and civilian programs of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom will total 1.247 trillion rubles over the next eight years, including up to 750 billion rubles in the period to 2015. Most of the funding for civilian projects will go toward Rosenergoatom's construction of new nuclear power plants and foreign projects (Kommersant, p. 11).
BANKING, FINANCE & INSURANCE
Sberbank has warned investors that it could lose up to $1 billion as a result of lawsuits from retail borrowers. The bank charged them commissions that were later ruled to be illegal (Vedomosti, p. 7).
RETAIL & CONSUMER MARKET
Domestic films' share of box office receipts in Russia should be at least 18.2% in 2012, the Culture Ministry has decided. If this target is not met, the government might repeal the zero VAT rate for tickets to foreign films, and return to the idea of imposing a quota on screen time for domestic films (Kommersant, p. 1).
Most outdoor signs in Moscow could soon become illegal as the city authorities intend to tighten rules for putting up advertising structures for retailers and other businesses. The restrictions could hurt the business of shopping malls in particular (Vedomosti, p. 1).
Moscow's Domodedovo airport is losing one of its main competitive advantages - a low lease rate for its airfield infrastructure. It is set to more than quadruple, which will make it two times higher than the rate paid by cross-town rival Sheremetyevo (Vedomosti, p. 8).
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