Fitch International Rating Agency : Downgrades the Ratings of 9 Russian State Owned Companies and Revises Outlook on 16 Banks ‘

#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW, March 24 – The Fitch international rating agency has downgraded the ratings of nine Russian state-owned companies, including Gazprom and LUKOIL, to negative from stable.

The agency has also revised its outlook to negative from stable on 16 Russian banks, including Sberbank, Rosselkhozbank, Alfa Bank, Gazprombank and Vensheconombank.

“The rating actions follow Fitch’s revision of the Russian Federation’s Outlook to Negative from Stable and the affirmation of its Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘BBB’ on 21 March 2014,” the agency said in a press release on Monday, March 24.

On March 21, Fitch revised its rating of Russia to negative from stable citing a potential impact of Western sanctions on the economy and business environment in Russia.

Fitch analysts think that the direct effect from the declared sanctions will not be significant, but in the future investors can face new measures such as restrictions on Russian companies’ access to international capital markets.

Russian Finance Sources

#AFN2014

#fitch, #gazprom, #lukoil, #russia, #russian, #russian-federation, #sberbank

` Ukraine's Coffer's are Running on Empty as their Economy is Struggling with Debt '

#AceFinanceNews – Russia may revoke a deal with Ukraine, which gave Kiev a considerable discount on gas in exchange for hosting the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The Russian PM said this would oblige Kiev to return $11 billion which Russia paid to lease the bases.

The PM’s statement comes at a time when the Ukraine economy is struggling for cash, with Russian officials insisting they were the first to be interested in Ukraine’s economic stability.

The country’s treasury is almost empty, as Ukraine’s government debt stood at about $66 billion in 2012, which is 37.42 percent of GDP.

The country owes about $2 billion to Russia’s Gazprom, with the company insisting that it did not want a gas crisis similar to 2009.

The company’s CEO Aleksey Miller said he does not want Ukraine’s economy to collapse, and was not asking for something extra, like advance payments.

Talking about Russia’s $3 billion loan tranche made in December, Deputy Russian Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said Russia won’t require early repayment of the debt, as it is interested in stabilizing the economic situation in Ukraine.

Under the terms of the Russia-Ukraine deal signed in December, Ukraine’s debt should not exceed 60 percent of GDP.

This means that technically Russia has the right to demand the money back before the bonds are due in 2015.

Russian Finance News Sources

#AFN2014

#deputy-russian-finance-minister, #gazprom, #kiev, #russia, #russia-ukraine, #russian-black-sea-fleet, #ukraine

` Price of ` Russian Gas ‘ to the `Ukraine ‘ could rise to $500 per 1,000 Cubic litres due to Continuing Uncertainty’

#AceFinanceNews – The price of Russian gas to Ukraine could rise to $500 per 1,000 cubic meters, as future developments in relations between Moscow and Kiev remain vague.

From April 1 the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas will go up to $360-$370 per 1,000 cubic metres, after Russia cancelled the discount agreed in late December, Pavel Zavalny, the head of Russian Gas Society told Izvestia newspaper.

In the worst case scenario, and Ukraine decides to take over Russian property, as well as new threats from radical nationalists, the price could jump to as high as to $500, the paper added.

Such a price rise may take place if the Kharkov agreement of 2010 is cancelled. Under its terms, Russia allowed a $100 discount to Ukraine for keeping its fleet in the Crimea, Izvestia quotes its source in Gazprom as saying.

“The discount of $100 was connected with the Russian fleet’s stay in the territory of Ukraine. Now, when circumstances change, it’s a big question, whether we can keep it in the future,” the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Yury Prodan said.

Gazprom has until April 10 to decide a new price.

Russian Media and News

#AFN2014

#crimea, #gazprom, #kharkov, #russian, #russian-gas-society, #ukraine

` Committee of the State Duma for the ` Budget and Taxes ‘ Recommends Writing-Off `Ten Billion’ of DPRK’s Debts ‘

#AceFinanceNews – Moscow – March 19, 23:14 – Committee of the State Duma for the budget and taxes has issued a recommendation to the MPs to ratify an agreement between the Russian government and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on settling the DPRK’s debt to Russia on the Soviet-era loans issued to that country.

The document that was submitted for ratification by the Russian government features the agreements reached at the negotiations that lasted almost twenty years and took account of the special features of financial, political and economic relations between Russia and North Korea.

Debt settlement embraces all the categories of reciprocal financial claims and obligations of the former USSR and the DPRK, with the precise parameters registered on the date when the agreement is signed.
Overall amount of the DPRK’s financial obligations to Russia stood at an equivalent of $ 10.96 billion as of September 17, 2012.

“This amount is rather conventional in many ways – not only because of the exchange rate but also due to the interest rates accumulated over a huge period or, in other words, a non-return of the loans because many of them were issued in the 1980’s,” Sergei Storchak, a deputy minister of finance said at the session.

“We applied a standard pattern in which we write off 90% of the debts amount and 10% is left over,” he said. “We agreed to utilize this 10% for financing the joint projects implemented on the North Korean territory.”

There projects are related to the energy sector, healthcare, and the country’s foodstuff security.

“Frankly speaking, we hope we’ll be able to attain agreement in the course of future joint work on allotting plots of land for construction of a gas pipeline on the DPRK territory,” Storchak said adding that Russia’s major producer and exporter of natural gas, OAO Gazprom, continues eyeing a possible integration in the Korean market of gas.

For this purpose, it will need some land acquisitions and “a part of the debt can be utilized for this purpose,” Storchak said.

Russian government officials say settlement of debts on the loans issued by the former USSR with the observance of conditions coordinated with Pyongyang pursues three objectives.

In the first place, it removes the problem of North Korea’s outstanding debt to the Russian Federation that was an irritating factor for bilateral relations for quite some time.

Secondly, the agreements that have been reached enable Russia to exert noticeable influence on the DPRK’s social and economic development through projects in healthcare, education, and the energy sector, since Russia will have a say in the decisions on their financing.

Thirdly, owing to the presence of big enough debt claims, Russia will have an opportunity to take part in multilateral talks on settling the North Korean debts in the format of the Paris Club of Sovereign Debtors and to influence the terms of debt repayments in Pyongyang’s interests.

TASS – Russian Media News –

#AFN2014

#democratic-peoples-republic-party-dprk, #gazprom, #koreas, #moscow, #north-korea, #north-korean, #paris-club-of-sovereign-debtors, #pyongyangs, #russian-federation, #ussr

` Rosneft and Gazprom are Officially the only `Two ‘ to be `Awarded’ Arctic Shelf Permits though exact amount paid is Unknown ‘

#AceFinanceNews says that Gazprom and Rosneft are officially the only companies with the right to explore the Russian Artic shelf, as they both received exclusive extraction licenses in return for large cash payments.

In 2009, Rosneft agreed to pay 1.4 billion roubles ($450 million) and Gazprom 1.2 billion in a resolution passed by the state Duma, but the exact amount paid in June 2013 for the licenses is unknown.

Russia has passed a law that only companies in which the state owns more than half and have at least 5 years of Arctic experience are eligible for permits

Lukoil, the country’s second largest oil company, is publicly owned, and Sugtneftegas, known to have close ties with the Kremlin, is also publicly owned, and therefore not up for a permit.

Tatneft is the country’s sixth largest and operates out of the Republic of Tatarstan, which is also the company’s primary shareholder.

#AFN2014

#artic-shelf, #gazprom, #kremlin, #lukoil, #republic-of-tatarstan, #rosneft, #state-duma, #sugtneftgas, #tafneft

` Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller says that within two years,` Russia ‘ will start `Supplying Gas ‘to ` Europe’ through a new route, which will be protected from transit risks’

#AceFinanceNews – Moscow – Operator of the South Stream offshore pipeline construction, the South Stream Transport BV company, will sign construction contracts covering offshore pipe laying of Line 1 and supplying pipes for Line 2 before the end of the current month, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Tuesday, summing up results of the company’s Supervisory Board meeting, which approved signing the above-mentioned documents.

Among other things, the contracts also envisage activities aimed at the development of landfall facilities and construction of offshore crossings necessary for all four lines of the offshore gas pipeline both in Russia and Bulgaria.

Itar-Tass

#AFN2014

#bulgaria, #ceo-alexei-miller, #europe, #gazprom, #itar-tass, #moscow, #russia, #south-stream-transport-bv

` Gazprom cannot ` Supply Gas’ to `Ukraine ‘ for ` FREE’ so ‘ NO PAYMENT ‘ from `Naftogaz ‘ NO Gas ‘

#AceFinanceNews says Russia will limit or suspend gas supplies to Ukraine in case Ukraine’s energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy makes no advance payment for April gas imports till the end of March.

Under the gas contract between Russia’s Gazprom and Naftogaz of January 19, 2009, the seller may partially or completely suspend the fulfilment of its liabilities in case the buyer does not fulfil its obligations.

In line with the contract, Gazprom is to issue a bill to Naftogaz by March 16 and the latter is to pay it by the end of March. If the bill is not paid, gas supplies may be limited.

On Friday, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told journalists that his company had received no payments from Naftogaz Ukrainy for February’s Russian gas supplies.

On February 7, it was the deadline for payments for February’s gas deliveries to Ukraine,” he said. “Gazprom has received no debt payments. With a discount in the first quarter, Ukraine’s overdue debt for gas has significantly increased, reaching 1.860 billion dollars.”

“This actually means that Ukraine has stopped paying for Russian gas. This contradicts completely provisions of the contract and international trade practice,” Miller said. “We have always fulfilled and we will fulfil our contractual obligations.”

#AFN2014

#gazprom, #naftogaz-ukrainy, #russia, #russian, #ukraine

` Ukraine to pay $440 million for the ` Russian Natural Gas ‘ consumed in February ‘

#AceFinanceNews says that Ukraine is expected to pay about $ 440 million for the Russian natural gas it consumed in February, the interim acting Minister of Energy and Coalmining, Yuri Prodan told reporters Sunday.

“It’ll come to around $ 440 million for February,” he said, adding that about $ 10.6 mln was remitted to Russia’s main producer and exporter of natural gas, OAO Gazprom, last year.

Ukraine’s outstanding debt to Gazprom for last year totals $ 1.5 billion.

The country’s national oil and gas monopoly Naftogaz Ukrainy issued a statement three days ago where it said it had paid Gazprom for the gas imported in January.

#AFN2014

#gazprom, #naftogaz-ukrainy, #russian

` RWE still regards `Gazprom ' as reliable trading partner even with all the unrest in the Ukraine '

#AceFinanceNews says that Germany’s second-largest utility company, RWE, still regards Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom as a reliable trading partner despite the political situation in Ukraine, an RWE spokesman told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“Discussions at the political level are being held at the moment,” the spokesman said. “We have always known Gazprom as a trusted partner. We do not want to make any forecasts for future events we cannot predict.”

RWE is one of Gazprom’s biggest European partners in natural gas supplies. In June 2013, an arbitral tribunal in Vienna granted RWE’s request for a revision of the purchase price payable by RWE for the natural gas supplied under its long-term gas supply contract with Gazprom.

In 2013, Gazprom also agreed to adjust the terms and conditions for Russian natural gas supplies to Italy’s energy company ENI.

Moscow – March 07, 20:42 /ITAR-TASS/.

#ANS2014

#eni, #gazprom, #moscow, #rwe, #vienna