Belarus plans selling 250 industrial enterprises 2011

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MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — Belarus is going to sell 250 industrial enterprises in 2011, Belarus’ Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said in an interview to Russia’s Itogi magazine.

“If Russians do not wish to buy the plants, we shall sell them to somebody else,” he said. “But your entrepreneurs have an opportunity to be the first to come.”

“However, it is not correct to think that with the current problems we face, it would be possible to buy our enterprises for no money,” he continued. “This is a mistake.”

Russia’s businesses fear to participate in privatisation of Belarussian state property, he said.

“I believe, there are elements or lack of knowledge or of certain economic policy,” he continued. “So why companies from the EU, China express big interest not only to our raw materials’ and infrastructure companies, but to processing industry as well? We have sold several furniture factories – nobody came from Russia! At the same time, IKEA is building in Belarus its enterprises, which will further on compete with Russian companies, too. Or the glass industry: the Japanese are coming to us, Russians would not. We suggest selling enterprises producing cement, gypsum and so on. Germans are interested in them already. Those are excellent enterprises, which are developing actively. Take for example production of crushed stone, which is aimed at Moscow.”

“Belarussian businesses are interested in accessing Russia’s construction market,” he said. Minsk had been offering its services in construction of housing for Russia’ s military, but it takes too long to approve those initiatives.

“The republic is also very concerned about the overdue debt receivables of Russia’s some companies to Belarussian enterprises,” Myasnikovich said. “They make about 200 million dollars, which will require much effort to repayment.”

“We are looking for civilised relations between Russia and Belarus, so that they resemble relations, which exist in, for example, the European Union,” he said.

.Belarus raises car fuel prices by three percent.

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MINSK, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — Belarus has raised car fuel for an average of three percent.

“The Belneftekhim Concern raises from July 21 retail prices at filling stations by three percent,” the concern informed.

For example, one litre of A-95 costs 4,650 Belarussian roubles /about 92 cents/, A-92 – 4,330 /about 86 cents/, diesel fuel – 4,580 /about 82 cents/.

The concern reports that the revision of prices was made to adjust prices in the Customs Union /Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan/. At the same time, the republic’s present prices still remain lower that those in Russia by about 2-8 percent.

Belarus has raised fuel prices since the beginning of the year for four times already. Once, the price was dropped by several percent at the order of the country’s president.

.RF’s oil production grows by almost one pct Jan-May 2011.

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MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — The production of oil and gas condensate in Russia from January to May made 210.2 million tonnes, or by 0.9 percent more than during the similar period of 2010, Russia’s statistics service, Rosstat, reported on Thursday.

In May 2011, Russia produced 43.3 million tonnes, which is by 0.9 percent more against last year’s May and by 3.7 percent against April of 2001. At the same time, 104.7 million tonnes were forwarded for processing / by 3.8 percent more than over the similar period of 2010 /. The share of export in production amounted to 47.7 percent / 100.3 million tonnes/, which is by 2.3 percent lower than in the similar period of 2010.

The share of oil in the total volume of Russian export in January-May 2011 made 34.9 percent, in export of energy products – 50.2 percent / 34.7 percent and 49.9 percent in January-May 2010 respectively/.

In May 2011 the average actual export price of oil reached 798.7 dollars per a tonne / 101.0 percent against April 2011 /. The average price in the world market for the Urals oil was 813.7 dollars per a tonne /93.3 percent against April 2011 /.

.Russia plans to export 18 M tonnes of grain 2011 – view.

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MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s export of grain in the current year may make 18 million tonnes, Minister of Agriculture Elena Skrynnik said on Thursday during discussions of the 2012-2014 budget at the platform of the All-Russian Popular Front.

Russia is a leader in the international market, she said.

“This year, we shall regain our grain export positions,” she continued.

The crops are forecasted at 85-90 million tonnes, she added.

“This is enough for domestic needs and for export of 18 million tonnes,” she said.

Skrynnik informed that the major strategic task for this year was solved successfully – the spring sowing was made at over 50 million hectares, where the area for grain grew by 7.3 percent. The ministry forecasts growth of production of all major crops: sugar beat by 40 percent, sun flower – by 19 percent, potato – by 29 percent, and vegetables – by five percent.

.RF regions should increase financing of agriculture support – view.

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MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Finance Ministry is adamant that the country’s regions should raise financing to support agriculture.

“Presently, the financing from the federal and regional budgets is roughly 50 – 50, where the federal budget allocates 130 billion roubles and the regions – about 120-130 billion,” Deputy Finance Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday during a meeting with participants in the All-Russian Popular Front.

“I do not think it is quite right, and the regions should allocate bigger amounts as financing of agriculture is their authority under the current legislation,” he said.

.FIAT to announce assembly platform in Russia in September.

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NIZHNY NOVGOROD, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— The FIAT Company will announce in September its assembly platform in Russia, Head of the car industry and agricultural machinery department of Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade Alexei Rakhmanov said on Thursday.

“I am aware of eight different versions of business plans and that now FIAT is negotiating in Russia with many potential partners and regions,” he said. “We have agreed with FIAT’s representatives that we meet in September and they will tell us about their choice.”

“The company is clearly planning to work in Russia and, evidently, would like to do it the best possible way,” he continued.

Rakhmanov did not rule out that the discussions may reiterate the industrial platform in Nizhny Novgorod.

“I do not rule out any of the variants,” he said.

.China decides to extend anti-dumping duties on TEC from RF, Japan.

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BEIJING, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — China has decided to extend anti-dumping measures on import of trichloroethylene from Russia and Japan, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Thursday.

“The abolition of anti-dumping duties on products from Russia and Japan can cause material damage to local producers,” the statement says.

Under the resolution, anti-dumping duties will reach 159 percent for these countries.

The ministry said it had decided to keep the punitive duties of up to 159 percent on all TCE made in Russia and Japan for five more years starting July 22.

The ruling came after a one-year review requested by China’s domestic TEC producers on May 21, 2010.

China began to levy anti-dumping duties on TCE imported from Russia and Japan on Jul 22, 2005.

Trichloroethylene is widely used as a cleaning agent in the production of home electronic appliances.

In addition, in June 2005, China imposed anti-dumping duties ranging from 28 percent to 184 percent on hydrazine hydrate imports from the four countries for a period of five years. It is used in the production of pesticides, medicines, intermediates, dyestuffs, rocket fuel and explosives.

.Beltransgaz share of stocks may be sold to Gazprom autumn – view.

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MINSK, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— The 50 percent of Beltransgaz shares, which belong to Belarus’ government, most likely may be sold to Gazprom in autumn of the current year, Belarus’ Head of the State Property Committee Georgy Kuznetsov told a news conference on Thursday.

He added that the “negotiation process is tough.”

“If it were only the purchase and sale agreement, it would not be a problem,” he said. “But you know and write, and listen to Semashko /Belarus’ First Deputy Prime Minister/, that there are other conditions added to the purchase and sale agreement.” They are gas supplies amounts and tariffs.

“The most complicated part is to settle these issues,” he said. “As soon as they are solved at the top level – from our side and from Russia’s side – then everything will go smoothly,” he said.

.RF Finance Ministry to study int’l experience in agriculture.

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MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Finance Ministry intends to study international experience in purchasing agricultural products for fixed prices, Deputy Finance Minister Alexander Novak told participants in the All-Russian Popular Front on Thursday.

“Though it to some extent contradicts the principles of market economy and though it is not quite clear who will be responsible for it – the government or private businesses, but since this international experience exists, we should study it,” he said.

.Consolidation of trade unions to improve workers’ protection – Medvedev.

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GORKI, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev had a meeting on Thursday with trade union leaders.

“It has been evident over several years that the authority of trade union organizations and Russian trade unions is not declining, but growing,” he said. He is sure it is due to “the organizational processes in the trade union movement. I mean formation of new trade union organizations, their larger membership.”

“I believe, that these processes of consolidating trade unions should effect protection of workers’ interests, especially in the framework of the system of social partnership between the state, workers and employers,” he said.

Medvedev assured the trade union leaders that the state will continue to use additional resources to improve wellbeing of workers, for example, it tries to “index the wages paid from the budget, but, honestly speaking, this is not enough.” Earlier, the government said it would index wages from the budget from October 1, 2011 by another 6.5 percent, and that the wages fund in the budget will receive additionally 34.5 billion roubles.

Russia’s president hopes that employers will resume social guarantees for employees. During 2010 and the first half of 2011, the Ministry of healthcare and social development received 500 refusals from employers to join the agreements, which regulate social and labour relations at the federal, regional and interregional levels, he said.

It is unacceptable to attract law enforcement authorities to influence trade unions, Medvedev said and promised he would give an order to the Prosecutor General and the Interior Minister to investigate into such cases. “Neither the interior ministry, neither the prosecutors nor any other authorities are entitled to do it (influence on trade unions); there have not been any orders of the kind to anybody,” he said. Medvedev took from the trade union leaders the documents they had on such cases and promised to forward them to the interior minister and the prosecutor general.

The president also highlighted the fact that various trade unions should have equal opportunities for participating in negotiations between employers and state authorities. As of June 1, there are 59 industry agreements in Russia, which have been drawn at the federal level of social partnership. Trade unions, which are not members in Russia’s Federation of Independent Trade Unions /FNPR/, were not allowed to the negotiation process on reaching the federal sector agreement in coal mining for 2010-2012.

Medvedev ordered the government to draft a compromising variant of a document on protection of trade union leaders.

“The government is negotiating, but as yet, they fail to make a version to satisfy everyone, and this work should be continued,” he said and promised the government will consider if it was possible to expand authorities of the labour inspection.

Russia should have a mechanism to protects interests of new categories of employees, who emerge along with the development of modern technologies, Medvedev said. The modern Labour Code does not contain a notion of “distanced working place.” Thus work of employees like web-designers, programmers, administrators of the Internet sites and alike is regulated only orally.

Russia’s further integration in the international economy should be connected with bringing the labour legislation in compliance with the European standards, and foreign companies working in Russia should observe Russian laws, Medvedev said.

.RF’s GDP grows by almost 4pct in Jan-June – Klepach.

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MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— In July Russia’s economy has demonstrated a stable tendency to restore its growth: the GDP grew by 3.9 percent this July against corresponding month 2010, and the similar growth /by 3.9 percent/ was registered in the first half year of 2011 against the first six months of 2010.

With the seasonal and calendar factors, the economy growth this July made 0.3 percent of the GDP /in May it was slightly higher – 0.4 percent of the GDP/, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrei Klepach told reporters on Thursday.

There is certain slowdown of growth of foreign investments in Russia’s economy, he said. In June, Rosstat reports, it made 4.7 percent, with the seasonal and calendar factors growth of investments over the month made 0.4 percent.

“At the same time, if in the first quarter the growth was negative /minus 0.8 percent/, there was sufficient positive growth in the second quarter /plus 4.9 percent/, which means that the second quarter compensated the descent of the first one,” Klepach said. Thus the growth of investments over January-June made 2.7 percent. Earlier, the ministry forecasted the annual growth of six percent and it still sticks to it.

“As yet, I believe the figure of six percent is realistic,” he said explaining that the ministry is expecting another “investment boom” in the remaining months of 2011, which will make it realistic to approach the desired level.

Despite the unstable growth of investments during the first six months, Russia’s construction industry demonstrated stable development, he continued. As for this sector, the ministry’s calculations match those of Rosstat: plus one percent in June 2011 against June of 2010 and 0.8 percent with the seasonal and calendar factors – June against May.

Klepach informed that the industrial production growth in June made 0.7 percent, as the ministry had calculated, that of manufacturing industry – 1.1 percent. The ministry named the leaders of industrial growth: metallurgy, production of machinery and transport vehicles. Negative growth was registered in food, electric equipment and chemical industries.

As of June 2011, Russia’s trade surplus made 31.4 percent /249.5 billion US dollars/. Export in June 2011 against June 2010 grew by 37.8 percent /44.6 billion US dollars/, import – by 42.6 percent /28 billion US dollars/. The growth of import over the first six months made 42.3 percent.

.Directors, officials in the way of Belarus privatization – view.

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MINSK, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— The main opponents of privatization in Belarus are directors of enterprises and heads of ministries and authorities, Belarus’ Chairman of the State Property Committee Georgy Kuznetsov told a news conference on Thursday.

Having analyzed the first results of the privatization plan for 2011-2013, “we saw that many opponents of the privatization are inside the republic, and first of all they are directors of enterprises, who are supported by heads of ministries and authorities,” he said.

Directors do not want new owners to come as they realize that many of them, who used to work ineffectively, will have to leave their positions.

“Today, they start stirring the staff, threaten employees and sabotage competitions and auctions,” he said. Such was the situation during privatization of the sewing plant in Baranovichi, of the food concentrates plant in Lida, and of the Elegant enterprise in Gomel.

It is necessary to ignore such activities, Kuznetsov said. The most important thing is that local authorities do not support this struggle of directors opposing privatization.

“Quite often they are led by such a director, who has ‘killed’ the enterprise and would not want a new investor to come,” he explained.

Belarussian government and president have adopted a privatization plan for 2011-2013. The plan includes about 180 small and medium enterprises. As yet, only ten enterprises have been privatized via auctions and competitions. The government’s revenues made 38 billion Belarussian roubles /about 7.6 million dollars/.

.Rosneft to be privatized when state says it appropriate – Medvedev.

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GORKI, July 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said that Rosneft would be privatized at the moment when the state considers it most profitable.

“I base my opinion on the fact that during privatization of major and super major companies like Rosneft, we should get prepared, so that to make it profitable,” he said during a meeting with Rosneft’s CEO Eduard Khudainatov on Thursday.

“Of course, we shall not sell anything for no particular reason,” he said. “If we decide that at a certain moment it is correct and appropriate – we shall take the decision.”

“You, surely, will have to make necessary arrangements,” Medvedev told Khudainatov.

“How relevant is Rosneft privatization?” Medvedev asked.

“We are in the preparatory phase,” Khudainatov replied adding that the company is in the active phase of development.

“You, the state, as the major shareholder, should identify when and what revenues the state anticipates to earn, and as for us – we shall fulfill the task,” Khudainatov said.

.Rosneft net profit totals $6.7 bln in first six months.

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GORKI, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — The Rosneft net profit amounted to 6,700 million US dollars by the results of the first six months of 2011, or 60 percent more than over the corresponding period last year, company head Eduard Khudainatov told President Dmitry Medvedev.

According to the firm head, “the company reached the highest level of production in July – 339,000 tonnes daily, that is 2.5 million barrels”. The Rosneft head noted that although the production plan for the first six months provided for 59 million tonnes, the company recovered 60.3 million tonnes.

Khudainatov stated that the company conducts active geological prospecting in East Siberia as well as additional tapping of oil from aging deposits in southern Russia – in the Krasnodar Territory, Chechnya and Ingushetia. “We started drilling a well in the Andreyevskoye deposit in Chechnya in July for the first time,” he reported.

Medvedev called Khudainatov’s attention to the need for investing funds in oil refining, since the situation in the fuel market remains difficult. “Let’s hope that this work will develop in the near future,” the president said. Khudainatov replied that Rosneft had seven refineries the modernisation of which will be completed in 2014. “Fuel production will rise to 40 million tonnes from 2015,” he emphasized.

The head of state also deems it necessary “to continue work on transition to output of fuel of higher standards”. “We transfer completely to the output of fuel standard Euro-5 from 2015,” Khudainatov stressed.

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