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Business

Dateline
November 21, 2014 14:24
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal during a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.
(RIA Novosti /Evgeny Biyatov)
Russia and Saudi Arabia against ‘politicized’ oil prices – Lavrov
Moscow and Riyadh both want to see oil prices react to market forces, and not to geopolitical muscle flexing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said Friday.
RIA Novosti / Vladimir Trefilov Russian ruble continues recovery, as oil back to $80
The Russian ruble continued its fight back on Friday to move above 46 against the US dollar, as the price of Brent crude slid over the $80 per barrel threshold.
Reuters / Jason Lee ​Russia-China trading settlements in yuan increases 800%
Settlements in yuan between China and Russia have increased ninefold in annual terms between January and September 2014, says the Chinese Ministry of Economic Development.
RIA Novosti / Aleksey Babushkin ​Russian hydro power generator to sell troubled Far East asset to Asian buyer
Russia’s largest hydroelectric company RusHydro says it is looking for an Asian buyer for its share of a loss-making energy distribution business in the Far East. Media reports say Chinese company Sanxia is a likely candidate.
Reuters / Darren Staples Super-rich control $30tn of global wealth, or 40 percent of world GDP - study
About 13 percent of global wealth of adults is concentrated in the hands of 0.004 percent of the population, according to a new study. And the trend is set to continue with the number of high net worth individuals reached a record 211,275 in 2014.

Business snaps

Lukoil’s 2015 budget sees scenarios of $70, $80 per barrel of oil  

The budget for 2015 of Russia’s second-largest oil company Lukoil includes possible scenarios in which the price of oil will be $70 or $80 per barrel, TASS said. Under the latter scenario, the company expects to get free cash flow of $1 billion, according to CEO Vagit Alekperov. Lukoil’s oil extraction in 2015 is expected to amount to 85 million tons in Russia, and including Western assets - to 102 million tons. The investment program will be cut by $2 billion to $14 billion, Reuters reported.

Russia’s currency opens stronger against dollar, euro 

Russia’s ruble opened stronger against both the dollar and the euro on Friday. At 07:04 GMT, the ruble was around 0.4 percent stronger against the dollar at 45.97. It also gained 0.4 percent to 57.66 versus the euro. The Russian currency built on gains made in the previous session thanks to end-of-month taxes and a recovery in oil prices, Reuters said.

VTB Capital ends talks to buy majority stake in Cavalli fashion house – report 

VTB Capital has ended talks to buy a majority stake in the Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources. The investment arm of Russian lender VTB Bank was expected to buy a 70 percent stake in the Florentine company. The stake was valued at $502 million as of October 8. The 73-year-old designer's valuation was seen as too high, according to one of the paper’s sources.

Q3 real GDP of OECD area rises by 0.5%  

Quarterly GDP in the area of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development rose by 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014. The figures were up from 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, in the second and first quarters of 2014, according to OECD’s provisional estimates. Among the major seven economies, GDP growth remained the highest in the US and the UK. However, it slowed to 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively (compared with 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent in the previous quarter). In France and Germany, GDP increased by 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent respectively. There was a contraction of 0.1 percent in both countries in the previous quarter.

Exxon seeks alternative assignments for offshore rig over Russia sanctions 

Exxon Mobil Corp. will look for alternative assignments for an offshore rig supposed to sail back to the Russian Arctic next summer, Bloomberg said. The West Alpha rig, owned by North Atlantic Drilling made a billion-barrel oil discovery for Exxon and OAO Rosneft in the Kara Sea in September. The ring could end up operating offshore Norway instead of going back to Russia in 2015, according Dominic Genetti, operations manager for Exxon in Norway, who said the company will see “what happens with the joint venture and sanctions.”

VTB CEO tops list of highest-paid Russian company execs 

The CEO of Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB, Andrey Kostin, topped an annual Forbes 25 rating of highest-paid heads of Russian companies with an estimated salary and compensation package of $37 million. Gazprom’s Aleksey Miller was second with compensation of $25 million. The estimated package for Mikhail Kuzovlev, of Bank of Moscow, is $17 million. The top 25 in the Forbes rating earned a total of $291 million, according to the magazine. The previous year their combined compensation was 7 percent less.

Visa Inc. names conditions for work in Russia 

Head of Visa’s local division, Andrew Torre, named a number of conditions needed for the international payment system to continue its work in Russia, RBC said. In a letter to the Russian Central Bank he reportedly asked it not to interfere into tariffs policies during a transfer of payment traffic to the national system of payment cards, which Visa is obliged to do by March 31 next year. Otherwise, it should pay a security deposit. Torre said earlier this month that Russia remains one of the key markets for Visa despite the legislative changes.

Reuters / Toby Melville Pittance payback: RBS 'compensates' furious customers, some get £1
​Scotland’s biggest bank is getting around to making amends for an IT crash in 2012 that left millions of its customers without access to their accounts for weeks. It will dish out $88 million (£56 million) to pay for its mistake.
Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann Where has all Ukraine's gold gone?
Ukraine’s Central Bank chief has divulged some shocking intel: its gold stockpile has reached a new nadir - almost zero. Since the beginning of the year, gold reserves have dropped nearly 16-fold, which begs the question, where did all of it go?
RIA Novosti/Igor Zarembo ​Russia to crack down on over-the-counter ‘Forex clubs’ at banks
The Central Bank of Russia intends to stop banks from operating in-house foreign exchange (Forex) markets or offering the service to Russian customers, according to the First Deputy Governor Sergey Shvetsov.
Reuters/Stoyan Nenov ​Eurozone manufacturing outlook weakest for 16 months, as France, Germany lose steam
A new survey of manufacturing and service companies across the eurozone shows the area is now a step away from recession, as key economies France and Germany remain weak.
Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic World pharma spending to exceed $1trn in 2014 - study
Global pharmaceutical spending will surpass the trillion dollar threshold in 2014, with high prices for innovative hepatitis C and cancer drugs in the US, a new study says. By 2018 spending is expected to increase by another 30 percent.
Picture taken on November 9, 2007 shows then Landsbanki CEO Sigurjon Arnason (AFP Photo) Former head of Iceland’s Landsbanki jailed for role in 2008 crash
Sigurjon Arnason, the ex- CEO of Landsbanki, one of the three Icelandic banks that crashed and ruined the economy in 2008, has been sentenced to 12 month in prison for manipulating the bank’s share price and deceiving investors in the bank’s dying days.
Reuters/Bernadett Szabo Banking breeds cheating for financial gain - Swiss researchers
Society expects bank employees to be honest when entrusting them with money. However, new research involving bankers suggests they are more likely than other professionals to be dishonest if they are reminded about their professional role.
AFP Photo Hungary to start South Stream construction in 2015 despite Western pressure
Hungary plans to break ground next year on its stretch of the South Stream pipeline to send natural gas from Russia to Europe. It is in defiance of EU and US calls to halt the project over frosty relations with Moscow.
Reuters/Andrew RC Marshall 'Anti-offshore' law to bring billions back to Russian economy
Russia’s upper house of parliament has approved an “anti-offshore” law requiring individual and corporate taxpayers to report foreign profits. The Russian government aims to prevent capital outflow via “offshores,” estimated at $200 billion in 2014.

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