Kazakhstan economic review. March 2012 - domestic demand fuels growth
Basic sector output up 4.6% y-o-y in 2m12. Trade, which rose 14.1% y-o-y, was the major driver of the economic growth at the start of the year, while investment activity saw a more moderate increase (5.5%). External conditions are still favorable for Kazakhstan, as the Urals oil price has surpassed $120/bbl. Thus, economic growth this year is forecast at around 6%. Although industrial output growth will be slightly above 3%, the service sector will see a quicker acceleration.
UC Rusal - volume growth overlooked
UC RUSAL's 4Q11 earnings were its lowest quarterly result since late 2009 against a backdrop of depressed aluminum prices and a stubbornly high cost base. We fear that 2012 will be yet another humbling year unless pricing materially improves. The company's profitability has been structurally undermined by domestic cost inflation, though we think the market tends to ignore the growth projects in the pipeline - BEMO and Taishet, which are now partially funded by VEB. Both are accretive for margins and NPV, and should start contributing to earnings from 2013. UC RUSAL's production should rise 30% by 2017, putting earnings in contango.
Medvedev heading to New Delhi for BRICS summit next week
On March 28-29, Dmitry Medvedev will take part in a meeting of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which will be held in New Delhi.
China sets out its global stance for 2012 and beyond
In the span of a few days, the Chinese governmentelucidated its thoughts on the past year, the coming trends, and the future of its country and its relations with the world. This began with a Report by Premier Wen Jiabao to the Eleventh National People's Congress on the Work of the Government. It was then followed up by a press conference on China's Foreign Policy and External Relations by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. The following summarizes the key points made by the Chinese government in terms of international affairs.
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Turkish airlines introduces three weekly flights to Novosibirsk
Turkish Airlines has just launched three weekly flights with 167-seat 737-800s to Russia’s third-largest city Novosibirsk from its Istanbul Atatürk hub and is now the biggest foreign airline serving the Siberian city. Still, China is by far the biggest international country market at the airport. , which serves Russia’s third-largest city Novosibirsk, ranks as the sixth-largest airport in Russia after the three Moscow airports, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, and is the busiest in Siberia.
Hindus worldwide laud Russian court’s no to Bhagavad Gita ban
Hindus have welcomed the rejection by Tomsk regional court in Siberia of a proposed move to ban the ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord). Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada this week, thanked the honourable Court welcoming its decision of reaffirming the December lower court ruling and pointed out that it did the right and sensible thing befitting a democratic, open-minded and pluralistic society.
Russia's Chita linked to Hailar and Beijing by Air China
Air China has opened a Beijing-Hailar-Chita route. The flights, CA917/8, are operated with B737-300 on Wednesday and Friday, offering more travel options to the market.
The city of Chita is the administrative center of Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia and an important hub of the Trans-Siberian Railway and roads. To its west is Ulan-Ude and to its east Svobodny. It provides easy access to China's Manzhouli. Around the city are rich deposits of tin, aluminum, gold, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, iron ore and coal as well as large stretches of forests and hydraulic resources, which contribute to Chita's position as one of eastern Siberia's important industrial centers.
Hailar, in Inner Mongolia is a political, cultural and tourism centre.
The only other international scheduled flight operated from Chita is to Manchuria.
Russians on top of consumer credit
FICO, the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, and the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBKI), Russia's leading credit bureau, today released data showing that Russians are managing their credit better than at any time in the last three years. The January 2012 FICO® Credit Health Index for Russia shows the highest mark since the index was established in October 2008, revealing a sharp and sustained decrease in credit risk since 2009.
Russia’s eastern railways disrupted by train crash
Train services to and from Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East have been disrupted by a head-on on 11th March collision between two freight trains that de-railed 30 wagons and damaged 400 metres of track.
The accident, which only caused minor injuries among two crewmen occurred near the railway station of Aur Smidovichskogo, in the Jewish Autonomous Region, in the Far East. The trains were carrying automobiles, timber and coal. The source of the accident is is believed to have been a faulty coupling which uncoupled causing other cars to de-rail, colliding with an oncoming trail. 8 accidents have been attributed to the coupling, of Ukrainian manufacture, this year and 24 in total last year on Russian railways.
Four passenger trains were reported stranded, including the Tran-Siberian Moscow-Vladivostok, Vladivostok-Moscow and Vladimir-Penza trains.
AEB launches SME HelpDesk in Russia
The Associatiojn of European Business in Russia (AEB) Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Committee has launched of an SME HELPDESK service. Starting from today, March 12, 2012 all AEB small and medium member companies and entrepreneurs can benefit from the SME Committee’s practical advice, support and direct access to the wealth of knowledge and relevant expertise within the SME Committee whose members have considerable experience doing business in Russia.