Until the year 2001, the net inflationindex had been applied for this purpose, i.e. the annual change in the consumerprice index excluding the influence of state price regulation and hidden taxes.The gap between this index and the gross consumer price index had beengradually narrowing - in 1998 it was 5.1%, in 2000 - 0.9%. In April 2001 theNational Bank, upon an agreement with the Government of Czechia, made thedecision on setting the targets for the years 2002-2005.52 Thegeneral consumer price index was chosen as the target index. This decision wasbased on the assumption that the removal of control in the sphere of prices andtariffs had been almost completed. It was established that the impact ofadministrative decisions in this area was going to be 1-1.5%. The target wasset as a corridor with a slight sloping, beginning with the level of 3-5% inJanuary 2002 and finally coming to the level of 2-4% in December 2005. Suchtransition is expected to contribute to better public understanding of themonetary policy measures and to strengthen the regime’s potential as regards theinfluence exerted on the inflationary expectations. The change of the targetedindex is characteristic enough - the same was done in 1997 by NewZealand.
Czechia’s bodies responsible forcurrency regulation are rather concerned about the Czech koruna’s appreciation - its exchangerate as regards the euro went up from 35 at the beginning of the year 2001 to31.5 - 32.5 in December. One of the methods of influencing the exchange ratehas been to establish the areas of using the currency earnings fromprivatization which is the subject of the on-going negotiations between thenational bank and the government.
The Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia,Lithuania) have been further pursuing their once chosen policy of a fixedexchange rate. We wish to remind that in Estonia and Lithuania the exchangerate policy is based on currency board while in Latvia the exchange rate isrigidly pegged to the SDR basket. The inflation rate is very moderate, andthere were no changes in 2001 as far as the policy was concerned.
Lithuania made the decision on changingits anchor currency on February 1, 2002. Until then, the exchange rate of thelitas had been pegged to the USA dollar at the rate of 4 to 1. Now the peggingis to the euro at the rate LTL 3.4528 = EUR 1.
* * *
In the above-discussed countries thestabilization period has mostly been over. At the present moment medium-termprograms are being introduced that are aimed at achieving quantitative targets,primarily in pricing. From Russia’s point of view, it is the formulating of goals and tasks as wellas the approaches to achieving them that is of especial interest. Naturally, inEast European countries the goals are to a large extent, so to say, have beenbrought from the outside because their most important task is to meet thecriteria set by the EU for the applicants for membership. However theimportant fact is that the central banks of East European countries are veryserious about achieving these targets. The satisfaction with a particularpolicy can and should be assessed not only from the point of view of thedevelopment/avoidance of crisis-like phenomena which might nevertheless becorrect during the period of stabilization and at the early stages of thetransition toward market. An important criterion is also the matching of theachieved results to the declared goals.
From the point of view of utilizing theaccumulated experience, the tendency of changing over to inflation targetingcan be traced clearly enough, and Russia should probably pay very closeattention to this particular form of monetary policy. If we take individualcountries, the Hungarian experience is of particular importance. Here we musttake a look at the balance of payments after a) appreciation of the nationalcurrency, and b) radical liberalization of capital flow. It is peculiar thatHungary, with her negative balance of current account, did resort to suchmeasures while in Russia, despite her very high balance value, the idea ofgradual depreciation is very popular and the fears as regards the consequencesof any liberalization of capital export operations are very strong.Slovenia’sexperience is interesting from the point of view of utilizing the currencymarket as the basis for achieving macroeconomic stabilization and the settargets. It is vitally important for Russia, with her underdeveloped financialmarkets, to further improve the methods of such an activity.
1 The government had planned to use therevenues from the sales of shares in 20 enterprises, which were blocked byArticle 100, for the settlement with the Paris Club.
2 According to preliminary data for year2002, the total revenues derived from sales of properties made about Rb. 10bln.
3 See the draft law at :http://www.akdi.ru/gd/proekt/gd03.htm.
4 The latter method, although it isstrange, is indicated also in the general definition of privatization (p. 2,Art. 2 of the draft law): “State owned and municipal property may betransferred to individuals and (or) legal entities only on the paid basis (formoney or by transfer of shares in open joint stock companies receiving state ormunicipal property as a contribution in their charter capital in the state ormunicipal ownership.”)
5 See for a detailed report on trends ofconsolidation and integration in 1998 through 2000 in: Russian Economy in 2000.Trends and Perspectives. M. IET, 2001.
6 However, according to a number ofestimates, the “purchase potential” of “Surgutneftegaz is at about US $ 4billion, “YUKOS” –US $ 2.5 to 3 billion, “LUKoil” – US $ 1.5 billion.
7 Here and below are used the data:“Ekspert 2000: yezhegodny reiting krupneishikh kompaniy Rossii (AnnualRanking of Russia’sLargest Companies) (Ekspert, 2001, No. 35).
8 The authors understand that manyinformation sources describing corporate events are often subjective andexpress interests of only one party in this way becoming independentinstruments of corporate pressure. Selecting the facts, the authors strove touse only indisputable facts or several sources, which would make a wholepicture. Apart from the data the authors obtained on their own, there were alsoused data from issuers’ web sites and other Internet resources, periodicals published by“Kommersant,” “Finansovaya Rossiya,” “Vedomosti,” “Ekspert,” “FinansovyeIzvestiya,” “Kompaniya,” “Zhurnal Dlya Aktsionerov,” “Rynok Tsennykh Bumag,”and a number of other sources.
9 The group’s mineral and chemical companyalso includes the Kondorsky Iron Ore Dressing Works (Russ. abbr. GOK) (Murmanskoblast) and JSC “Fosforit” (Leningrad oblast).
10 This plot is interesting enough toanalyze it separately. In July of 1999, the enterprise’s management founded anot-for-profit “Sodruzhestvo” association in order to “represent the interestsof the association’smembers in the managerial bodies.” The employees were eligible to becomemembers, however, they were to loose it in case of dismissal. In 1999 through2000 the enterprise granted the partnership two interest-free loans (about Rb.160 mil.), which were used to purchase 10 to 16 per cent of shares in theenterprise.
11 Finansovaya Rossiya, 2001, No. 29, p.6, No. 41, p. 4
12 Some observers tend to review thisconflict in a broader context: it is possible that on the base of companiescontrolled by “Gazprom” there will be formed a holding involved in productionof special alloys and / or an attempt to obtain indirect control over JSC“Permskiye Motory.”
13 It is also probable that the roots ofthe conflict are in the price policy pursued by the parties (ZMZ supplies GAZwith motors, while GAZ supplies ZMZ with completing parts formotors).
14 Earlier the partners / owners of“Alfa Group” and “Renova” controlled TNK via three affiliated closed JSCs alsoestablished on parity basis: “Novye Prioritety” (49.86 per cent), “NovyHolding” (40 per cent), “New Petroleum Finance” (10.1 per cent).
15 It is an interesting fact that in Mayof 2001 ”Sibal” signed an agreement with P. Sumin, the Chelyabinsk oblastgovernor. According to the agreement, “Sibal” has the most favorable treatmentfor takeovers in the Chelyabinsk oblast. Besides UralAZ, the “Sibal” sphere ofinterests includes Chelyabinsk factory of road machines and Chelyabinsk forgingand pressing plant.
16 See: Grigoryev A. Dvenadtsat s plovinoi(Twelve and a half), Kompaniya, 2002, January 14, No. 1, p. 21. There is aninteresting indirect analogy (although inverse and taking place under newconditions) with the actively applied since the early 1990s privatization offinancial flows without privatizing enterprises themselves.
17 For details see: Rubchenko M. Prorabyreformy (Foremen of Reform). – Ekspert, 2002, No. 4, p. 32.
18 Rol nezavisimykh chlenov SovetovDirectorov v upravlenii rossiyskimi predpriyatiyami (The Role Played byIndependent Members of Boards of Directors in Management of RussianEnterprises), Assotsiatsiya Menedzherov, Assotsiatsiya po zaschite pravinvestorov, M., 2001.
19 See: Nestor St., Jesover F. (2000):Printsipy korporativnogo upravleniya OESR v oblasti prav i ravnopraviyaaktsionerov: ikh aktualnost dlya Rossiyskoi Federatsii – Krugly stol po voprosamkorporativnogo upravleniya dlya Rossii (OECDPrinciples of Corporate Governance on Shareholders Rights and Equitable Treatment: TheirRelevance to the Russian Federation – Russian Corporate GovernanceRound Table).” OECD, World Bank. Moscow, February 24 – 25, 2000.
20 See: Rubchenko M. “A vedpreduprezhdali! (Why, There Was A Warning!) – Ekspert, 2001, No. 25, pp. 36– 37.
21 Finansovaya Rossiya, 2001, No. 41.
22 There were used the followingmaterials: FCS (Federal Commission for Securities) Round Table “Pravovoyeregulirovaniye rossiyskogo rynka korporativnykh obligatsiy. Materialy i tezisyvystupleniy. (Legal Regulation of the Russian Corporate Bond Market. Materialsand Summaries of Presentations). M., April 17, 2001; Conference “Razvitiyerynka obligatsiy v Rossii (Development of Bond Market in Russia)”. M., Ekspert,June of 2001.
23 This does not concern the “old” bankand industrial FIGs of 1993 – 1998. For more details on new post-crisis structures see: RadyginA. Concentration of Property and Integration in the Corporate Sector.– Russian Economy in2000. Trends and Perspectives. M., IET, 2001. In this context one of theconclusions from the aforementioned BEA survey is of special interest:enterprises with higher share of other Russian enterprises in their authorizedcapitals are characterized by the worst (according to official statistics)indicators of productional and financial operations; however, at the same time,these enterprises demonstrate relatively high levels of investment from privateRussian investors.
24 Articles 48 and 49 have been in effectsince the date of official publication on August 9, 2001.
25 A shorter period of limitation (6months) was set for appeals against decisions taken by general meetings, etc.
26 The draft Arbitration ProceduralCode of RF contains a provision setting a full list of cases within thecompetence of arbitration courts involving citizens not being individualentrepreneurs. The list includes disputes between shareholders and joint stockcompanies related to the operations of such companies (except labor disputes).For details see: Gros L. Proyekt APK 2000: mneniya, suzhdeniya, predpolozheniya(Draft APC 2000: Opinions, Assessments, Assumptions). – In: Khozyaistvo i pravo, 2001,No. 9, pp. 54 – 68.
27 At the same time, the rejection ofpreventive measures will pose the obvious danger that defendants may “dilute”capitals in the process of trials. Defendants may use such an effective measureas counter-claims for eventual losses in case courts take decisions onimplementation of preventive measures (see: Finansovaya Rossiya, 2001, No. 37,p. 3).
28 Kodeks korporativnogo povedeniya.Materialy dlya obschestvennoi diskussii (Code of Corporate Practices. Materialsfor Public Discussion). M., FKTsB, 2001.
29 McKinsey site (www.mckinsey.com/features/investor_opinion/index.html).
30 Mirkin, Ya., Losev S.: Zaschitainvestorov: granitsy vozmozhnogo i novye idei (Protecting Investors:Constraints and New Ideas). In: Rynok tsennykh bumag, 2000, No. 22, pp. 43– 47.
31 The ratio is calculated as balance capital of active banks as of1 December 2001 to the tentative estimate of the GDP in 2001.
32 Here and henceforth the turnover was calculated as a sum ofpurchase and sale.
33 Further consideration excludes banks under ARCO administration.
34 Here and henceforth, unless otherwise specified, Sberbank andbanks under ARCO administration are not included.
35 Source: Finmarket Information Agency
36 Less banks under ARCO administration
37 The banks that underwrote their own bonds issues are not includedhere
38 The group derives from the published data as of 1 December2001
39 Less Vneshtorgbank, the proportion of issued debt paper in theliabilities of the issuer banks dropped from 8.5 to 4%
40 For comparison, in an average Russian bank, less Sberbank,investments in government paper at the start of the year accounted for 8.6% todrop to 6.2% by the end of November.
41 This section makes use of the data obtained through themonitoring of residential property performed in 2001 by the Russian Guild ofRealtors (RGR) jointly with the Russian Real Estate Agency SAVA, RMLS, the realestates agencies “Kontakt-Nedvizhimost”, “Miel”, NITsA (Moscow), theInformation Publishing Group “Real Estate Bulletin”, the Information PublishingCenter “The Peterburg Real Estate” (St.-Petersburg), the Realtor InformationCenter "The Urals Chambers of Real Estate" (Ekaterinburg), the agency "TheKaliningrad Real Estate” (Kaliningrad), “The Internet-laboratory” (NizhnyNovgorod), the Siberian Real Estate Agency (Novosibirsk), the Perm League ofrealtors and Appraisers, the ÎÀÎ “Kamskaya Dolina”, the APN “Perm Real EstateTrading House” (Perm), the TITAN Agency (Tver), the ZAO “Real Estatet Center”(Ulyanovsk), the Real Estate Agency “Best-Realty” (Omsk) (the AEKSIPAgency of the Industrial Insurance company also participated in thecalculations).
42 See: «The Russian economy in 2000. Trends and prospects». Issue22. Institute of Economies in Transition, 2001.