MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on January 23. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.
POLITICS & ECONOMICS
Experts will present a report at the World Economic Forum in Davos that projects a gloomy future for Russia. Meanwhile Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, leading the biggest Russian delegation ever, will talk about the country's investment appeal. Russia will present specific investment projects in production and infrastructure worth hundreds of billions of rubles (Vedomosti, p. 1).
Russian government officials and legislators, who are facing a ban on holding foreign assets, might get a major break. Sberbank president German Gref is asking the State Duma to allow officials to hold funds in the foreign subsidiaries of Russian banks, which he said would make it possible to monitor transactions with this money and avoid infringing on individual rights and freedoms. Sberbank has dramatically expanded its international presence recently (Kommersant, p. 1).
Russia might soon have a new industry - household waste recycling. It will be financed by businesses whose products end up in landfills. Manufacturers and importers will have a choice between pledging to recycle the waste from their products or paying into a special fund (Vedomosti, p. 4).
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and State Duma faction leaders agreed Tuesday that the priorities for the Duma's spring session will be the federal contract system for government procurements, migration policy and the "deoffshorization" of Russian businesses (Kommersant, p. 2).
OIL & GAS
Russian state oil major Rosneft should be worth at least $100 billion-$120 billion, President Vladimir Putin told company president Igor Sechin on Tuesday. Sechin promised to reach this threshold in 2013 following the merger with TNK-BP. Rosneft's market cap on the LSE rose 1.04% to $93.05 billion Tuesday (Vedomosti, p. 12).
METALS & MINING
Russia's Federal Subsurface Resources Agency has revoked Yenisei Industrial Company's (EPK) license to the huge Elegest coal field in Tuva. A new developer may be selected in April. A temporary license to Elegest has been granted to companies controlled by businessman Ruslan Baisarov, who has announced plans to build a railroad from the coal deposit instead of EPK. Baisarov is also considered to be the chief contender for a permanent license (Kommersant, p. 1).
BANKING, FINANCE & INSURANCE
Russian homeowners might lose the right to unlimited tax deductions for interest on mortgage loans. The Finance Ministry is proposing to cap them at 1.5 million rubles (Vedomosti, p. 10).
Russians' pension savings will be insured against losses along the lines of bank deposits, the government decided on Tuesday. However, investors will have to remain with their pension fund manager for a period of three to five years (Vedomosti, p. 11).
RETAIL & CONSUMER MARKET
Sergei Galitsky, the principal owner of retailer Magnit, has built Russia's biggest cosmetics and household products chain in just two years. Magnit Cosmetic has overtaken chief rival Sangi Stil (Vedomosti, p. 1).
REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION
The former co-owner of Russian retailer Kopeika, Alexander Samonov has found a partner to expand his property development business. His Accent Real Estate Investment Managers plans to form a joint venture to build shopping centers with Portugal's Sonae Sierra. Investment in the first three projects in Moscow could top $180 million (Kommersant, p. 7).
TELECOMMUNICATIONS, MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY
Rostelecom, Russia's national telecommunications provider, inflated business trip expenses in 2009-2010, the Audit Chamber has found. The biggest violations, amounting to 46.3 million rubles, were found in trips to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, to which Rostelecom flew 25 guests, including relatives and family members of senior executives and board directors (Kommersant, p. 1).
The board of directors of TransContainer has approved a development strategy that calls for nearly quadrupling net profit to 21 billion rubles in 2020 from an anticipated 5.79 billion rubles in 2013, while doubling freight shipments. The Russian rail freight operator plans to channel 20-30% of annual profits into capex, spending a total of 110 billion rubles over the period to 2020 (Kommersant, p. 9).
Russia's Transport Ministry is proposing to eliminate the requirement for airlines to have a fleet of at least eight aircraft. This will make it easier for new players to enter the market and reduce the price of plane tickets (Vedomosti, p. 11).
Interview: Rado Antolovic, CEO of JSC Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (Vedomosti, p. 8).
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