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September 17, 2014 09:17
RIA Novosti/Grigoriy Sisoev
Investors losing billions as head of Russia’s biggest holding put under house arrest
Russia’s largest publicly traded holding company AFK Sistema has lost about 37 percent of its value in Moscow by midday, after boss Vladimir Yevtushenkov was put under house arrest for alleged money laundering late Tuesday.
Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk Number of billionaires hits new record high in 2014-report
The number of billionaires increased by 155 in 2014 reaching a record high of 2,325, according to the Billion Census report. The research showed that more than half of the new super-rich are self-made, and more than a third don’t have a university degree.
A woman rides past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, the Chinese central bank, in Beijing (Reuters/Petar Kujundzic) China pumps $81bn into banks to stop slowdown - report
The Chinese central bank is to inject $81 billion (500 billion yuan) into 5 major state banks to stimulate economic activity and lending, according to a source inside the People’s Bank of China.
Reuters/Blair Gable New Canadian sanctions ‘unacceptable’ - Moscow
Canada has expanded its sanctions against Russia to include the country’s largest lender Sberbank, and five other companies, as well as five individuals. Russia plans to retaliate against the measures.

Business snaps

Russia agricultural watchdog to consider dairy product supplies from Tunisia 

The Russian agricultural watchdog is planning to consider opening supplies of dairy products from five Tunisian companies, including cheeses, Rosselkhoznadzor said on Wednesday. Tunisia is also interested in more supplies of olive oil and vegetables to Russia, RIA Novosti said. Earlier this month Foreign Minister Monji Hamdi said Tunisia is ready “to supply to Russia a range of goods, which Russia currently does not receive from the EU,” adding that Russian-Tunisian trade is below the countries’ expectations.

130,000 Russians affected by bankruptcy of 14 travel agencies – spokeswoman 

More than 130,000 Russian citizens were affected by the bankruptcy of 14 travel agencies, Irina Tyurina, press secretary of the country’s Union of Travel Industry, was quoted by the media as saying on Wednesday. About 70 percent of them were clients of five big Russian travel agencies. There were problems with the payment of compensation from some insurance companies, Tyurina said.

Ex-CEO of Russian potash producer Uralkali released on bail 

Moscow’s Basmanny Court has ruled to release Vladislav Baumgertner, the former CEO of Russian fertilizer firm Uralkali, ITAR-TASS reported. The bail is 15 million rubles (US$391,000). “The court upheld a motion to change a restriction measure for Baumgertner for 15 million rubles’ bail,” court spokesperson Anna Fadeyeva said.

German judge overturns Uber ride-sharing ban  

Frankfurt Regional Court Judge Frowin Kurth has overturned a nationwide ban on one of the services offered by the alternative taxi firm Uber, the BBC said. The temporary injunction banned the start-up from offering its UberPop ride-sharing service in Germany. The judge ruled that taxi companies in the country had waited too long to request an emergency injunction. Taxi Deutschland, the country’s taxi association, will appeal, after saying that the industry “accepts competitors who comply with the law.”

Russia govt to allocate $1.5bn loan to Belarus  

Moscow approved a state loan to Belarus in 2014 equivalent to $1.55 billion, ITAR-TASS said. According to a document published on the government's legal information portal on Tuesday, the government instructed Russia’s Finance and Foreign Ministries to sign the loan agreement. Russia will disburse the loan in Russian rubles at the exchange rate of Russia’s Central Bank effective as of the date of signing the loan agreement.

Russia’s Group acquires 48% in VKontakte social network 

Russian internet company, Group, has acquired 48.01 percent in domestic social network VKontakte from investment fund United Capital Partners (UCP) for $1.47 billion, ITAR-TASS reported. Thus, Mail.Ru has consolidated 100 percent of the project, the group said on Tuesday. The shares were purchased from offshore firms Blesmir Development Ltd. and Palagon Ltd., controlled by UCP, and the deal was closed on Tuesday. The payment was done in cash, including a 22.2 billion ruble loan taken out from Gazprombank.

Air France cancels 60 percent of flights due to strike 

Air France has scrapped 60 percent of its flights Tuesday, AFP said. Unions said three quarters of pilots followed their call to strike. The pilots are protesting at the airline’s plans to expand its low-cost subsidiary.

Vladimir Yevtushenkov (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov) Russian billionaire Yevtushenkov under house arrest in money laundering case
The main stockholder in the Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema and the country’s 15th richest man according to Forbes, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, has been placed under house arrest on charges of money laundering.
Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk Aeroflot launches new low-cost carrier to replace sanctioned Dobrolet
Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot has set up a new low-cost subsidiary called Budget Carrier.
Image from seddon / ‏@maxseddon Ukraine and EU ratify landmark Association Agreement
​Ukraine and the EU parliaments simultaneously ratified the economic and political parts of the Association Agreement that will strengthen ties between Kiev and Brussels. Economic integration is postponed until the end of 2015.
Prirazlomnaya ice-resistant oil platform for processing oil from Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea.(RIA Novosti/
Maksim Blinov) First Arctic project unaffected by sanctions – Gazprom Neft chief
Newly sanctioned Gazprom Neft plans to continue offshore oil extraction in its Prirazlomnoye Arctic field as planned, and will reach peak oil production by 2021, First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev said.
Reuters/Stefano Rellandini Sanctions against Russia could spur $150 oil – Former BP chief
Western sanctions against Russia, coupled with ongoing political instability in Libya and the advance of ISIS militants in Iraq, could leave the global oil supply exposed and push up oil prices to $150 per barrel, former BP chief Tony Hayward has warned.
Image from OECD cuts 2014 growth forecast for advanced economies
The major global economies are losing steam, and are expected to forfeit some 2014 growth, the OECD said Monday. They are weighed down by a sluggish eurozone economy, growing Middle East tension, the Ukraine crisis, and the Scot’s independence referendum.


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  ​The hit list (E55)

The EU hits Russia with a fresh round of sanctions, targeting the country's banking and oil sectors. But with...

September 14, 2014 08:45

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