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INSTITUTE FOR THE ECONOMY IN TRANSITION RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES November 2004 MONTHLY BULLETIN Moscow 2004 Institute for the Economy in Transition, 1996. Licence, 02079 19 2000 .

5 Gazetny pereulok, Moscow 103918, Russian Federation Phone: (095) 203-88-16 Fax: (095) 202-42-24 E- Mail: todorov@iet.ru 1 Politico-economical developments of November 2004.......................................................................... 3 REFORMS PROGRESS IN NOVEMBER 2004................................................................................... 5 Budgetary and Fiscal Policy.................................................................................................................... 6 Monetary Policy.................................................................................................................................... 11 Financial Markets.................................................................................................................................. 13 The Real Sector of the Economy: Factors and Trends.......................................................................... 24 IET Business Survey: Industry in November of 2004........................................................................... 28 Russian Agrifood Sector: Gowth Factors Exhausted............................................................................ 29 Foreign trade......................................................................................................................................... 32 Preparing to Restructure State-Financed Entities Network................................................................... 35 Issues Reviewed at the Sessions of the RF Government on November 18 and 25, 2004.................... 38 Review of the Normative Acts on Taxation Issues for October-November 2004................................. 41 A review of economic legislation: November of 2004......................................................................... Politico-economical developments of November Major developments of November of 2004 took place in political sphere. However, an economic event had happened which made one of the most significant intrigues of the year. An auction was set for December 19 on sale of 76,79% shares of JSC Yuganskneftegaz, that forms the basis of the JSC OIL COMPANY YUKOS. The initial price of stock is Rb 246.75 bn (about $8.65 bn). This stock is supposed to be drawn to collection within the computated Yukos tax obligation for 2000 - 2001, worth slightly more than $6 bn. At the same time, it is declared about claims to OIL COMPANY YUKOS, only for 2002 to the amount in excess of $6.5 bn (in fact, accurate estimates differ, as, additionally, tax debts have been charged to almost all the OIL COMPANY YUKOS subsidiaries, and the declared company debt for the last three years exceeds $15 bn). As it had been stated time and again, the mechanics of forming huge tax arrears of the OIL COMPANY YUKOS is simple this is devising by courts of the norms missing in the law (dummy juridical person, proportionality of tax privileges etc.), refusal in application, on that ground, of general rules of legislation refusal in application on that ground general rule legislation, and also charging a penalty and default interests at the rate often exceeded the invented debt itself (for example, claims for 2001). The company capitalization per annum dropped for more than 15 times, while the amounts due (tax arrears) are unprecedented not only in Russian, but also in international practice.

Apparently, inventing more and more new claims to OIL COMPANY YUKOS, fabricated in public by courts, appear as means of pressure on the majority shareholders Group Menatep, identified with M. Khodorkovsky and his colleagues, in order to provoke them either sell their own shareholdings, or reach some or other agreements on paying the debt. Such a scenario could make possible for the parties in conflict, and, chiefly it concerns the State, to maintain its dignity, and also to prevent the losses of minority shareholders, as, after the conflict has been settled and claims removed, the cost of stocks could gradually be geared to tangible assets of the working company, and not other circumstances. In summer of 2004 it was Vladimir Putin who told that the State was not interested in bankruptcy of YUKOS, not to mention the declarations of ministers or aides to the President.

Such statements did not consider that in the above scenario the majority shareholders of YUKOS get considerable means, any seizure mechanisms of which (for example through the sale of firms beneficiaries of the Group Menatep or confiscation of property of juridical persons - YUKOS owners put under arrest) is not clear or unreliable. Moreover, any peaceful settlement of the situation concerned with the OIL COMPANY YUKOS legitimates the owners of Group Menatep, turning them from criminals into entrepreneurs, who voluntarily settled their conflict with taxation authorities. It become clear, however, that inactivated situation (even with charged but gradually recovered debts) is also appropriate for YUKOS owners, as it maintains an operating control.

So, all the initiatives on settling the conflict on the part of YUKOS managers met with no response, many of managers (Yu.Temirko, D.Gololobov etc.) declared in criminal search.

It was announced on November 29, 2004 that in an auction on purchasing the JSC Yugansneftegaz will take part LLC Gazpromneft not long ago Gazprom based division, led by S.Bogdanchikov. But, at the accounts of Gazprom there is no even those inadequately low USD $8.bn, wherein the controlling stock of Yuganskneftegaz is appraised. These funds exceed the whole Gazprom investment program (i.e. development of new gas fields, investments in infrastructure) for the next year. Therefore, the two are left urgent and unprofitable (considering juridical aspect) crediting, for purchasing Yuganskneftegaz, in international banks, or receiving practically free credit resources from the State banks, Savings Bank of the RF or even CB of the RF.

No doubt, that Yuganskneftegaz becoming a part of Gazprom, in case it takes place, is an indicative event for the forming economic policy in Russia. First, it means actual course of the Russian Government for nationalization of big private industry, second, contempt to logic of economic efficiency and anti-monopoly policy (the successful and transparent company will be transferred to the structure, which management is utterly inefficient for the government), and, third, extraordinary gaining prominence (politically and economically) by the group of I.Sechin S.Bogdanchikov, associated with Rosneft, Gazpromneft etc. This group will freely be given an operating control over one of the main oilproduction enterprises.

However, possibility that tender will take place, not absolute. Group Menatep adequately appraised the happening as stealing of the company organized by the leadership of Russia and threatened to draw prosecution measures in foreign countries against Russia itself, and the purchaser of stolen property. In consideration of numerous technical infringements relating to the procedure (for example, the date of bidding announcement was fallen behind by 1 day), not to speak of hard judicial perspectives of that matter in the international arbitration courts with participation in it of Gazprom subdivision, as process litigant and the described calling for funds problems, and the next rescission of sale is also not improbable. Absence of bids may be used for ideological substantiation of next keenest, even lower than $8.5 bn, starting price. Besides, acquisition of Yuganskneftegaz by Gazpromneft will place a part of the burden of proof on bona fides bargain on German stockholders of Gazprom. That is one of few possible advantages of the scheme, as the foreign publicly-held company, which are majority of them, is unable itself to allow to luxury of running a risk belief in parole of the countrys leaders, even if it would be then promised to clear Yugansk from debts.

On the 2d of December, the second reading will take place of a package of draft laws, aimed at abolition of governors electivity. In November, Vladimir Putin made several statements, behind which one could see a wish to soften the draft law. For example, he made an intention to do everything, in the further consideration of the law, so that to make it within the context of Russias international obligations and its Constitution. Also, Putin announced that a governor is required to present in the Legislative Assembly a program of economic and social development of the region. Among the workable compromises there were two that could soften the law: alternative announcement of governors candidatures (a sort of, competition of programs) and abolishment of the right of the President of the RF to dismiss Legislative Assembly in the event of twice unapproved candidature brought in for approval, actively supported by many of regional legislators. Nonetheless, to the second reading the draft law was submitted only with one principle amendment suggesting to replace the two-fold refusal with threefold. Regions will gain nothing from this, moreover, it was cynically stated in discussions by the members of United Russia there will never be third rejection. More than that, it turned out that a recommendation was included in the document calling on the elected governors to vacate their seats before the President for confirmation or not confirmation, in accordance with the new law. Competitiveness is also absent. Furthermore, Vladimir Putin stated of his readiness to violate the elementary principle of division of powers, that is, to return governors to the Federation Council. It will be remembered that according to the Constitution, the Federation Council of the Russian Federation is the Upper House of Parliament formed by the representatives of legislative and executive power of every region. In case governors are appointed, half of the Upper House of Parliament will be Putins appointees. But, S.Mironov presented it as consideration of the governors opinion in the Federation Council.

There exist several circumstances In the judicial service that make themselves conspicuous. First, these are legislative initiatives of the Federation Council, which mean forming of qualification chamber directly by President. Such a step could be a typical formal abolition of justice. However, unwillingness to formalize the actual state of affairs before the world community, evidently affected the situation when Vladimir Putin did not suggest the idea at the conference judges, nor was it put as yet on the agenda of the meetings of the State Duma, as it means, among other things, violation of the international obligations undertaken by the RF.

The St.- Petersburg lawyer, Anton Ivanov, who not a day worked in the judicial system, on a single source basis had been elected a Chairman of the Superior Arbitration Court of the RF. In Krasnoyarsk, physicist, V.Danilov, was sentenced on charges of espionage to 15 years of imprisonment. As with G.Sutyagin, the technique of cancellation of acquittal judgment, carried out by jurors, was used, followed by formation a new board of dependable jurors from the unpublished, contrary to law, list.

A regular conference of the ruling party United Russia took place. It was announced that the party numbered 860 ths members. The conference was conducted in the manner of CPSU, in particular, the electrification of trans-Siberian Railroad, completion of the construction of Bureskaya hydro-electric power station, along with presence of cellular phones by 42% of citizens, were attributed in the report of the chairman of the party as partys merits. The position regarding most important draft laws, of both, considered and not considered by the parliament, was formulated dually on the one hand, it turns out that UR participated in preparing all the draft laws, on the other, they are unsatisfactory.

Such two-faced policy became characteristic even for the draft laws on administrative reform and pension scheme, that had not been reviewed this year by the parliament. Difference from the right-hand and left-hand is in that the United Russia offers to conduct reforms without detriment to the living standards of citizens. Having criticized everyone for populism, B.Gryzlov found words of encouragement for LDPR, which had, in his opinion, proposals in the area of regional development. It should be said that optimistic mood of B.Gryzlov was corrected by several other speakers, for example, by L. Sliska, who came down on the government for low size of minimum monthly wage, and who promised, according to the party line, to output, or, opposite, bring ministers in its composition. it goes without saying (for example, according to comic history with A.Kudrin enrolment in the party), that such conjurations have nothing in common with reality.

Contrary to many forecasts, for this year, the United Russia did not divide on left-hand or righthand wing, not found any independent ideology, nor set institutionally in the legislative process. Ideologically, the party sweepingly approach not to declared centralism (besides, it is indicative that B.

Gryzlov no longer call the party center-right, as before), but to eclectic party like LDPR, inviolately supporting any initiative of Vladimir Putin, in relation to other institutions, arbitrarily alternating the praise and damnation, acting with a set of ritual conjurations, ascribing itself all the best, but opponent - inferior of all being happened in the country. The faction never set into a full-fledged parliamentary structure, actually, an ordinary deputy is absolutely rightless, all the proposals relate to 3-leaders and lobbyists of St.-Petersburg origin, like Vl.Reznik. Symbolic, however, became real abolition of the High council of the party quite a number of popular and not very popular governors. Currently, they are not necessary for the attraction of voices. The governing body of the party became Office of the High Council, actually uniting the faction leadership, executive bodies and various representatives of the Administration of the RF President, and sponsors.

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