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Business

Dateline
March 31, 2015 15:51
Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky)
Putin agrees to extend gas discount for Ukraine for next 3 months
Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to extend Ukraine’s gas discount until the end of June, after a request from Gazprom on Monday.
RIA Novosti / Maksim Bogodvid Worst over for Russian economy, time to talk success - economists
Economists in Russia and the US agree the worst is over for Russian economy, with Bloomberg changing its tone praising it as an ‘underrated land of opportunity’. Experts agree President Putin’s economic team managed to turn around a pressing environment.
Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso (Reuters / Issei Kato) ​Russia to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in two weeks
Russia will become a founding member in the China-led $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on April 14, according to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
Trains are loaded with sea salt at a salt production facility at the Sasyk-Sivash lake, Ukraine (Reuters / Pavel Rebrov) Ukraine's war-torn east home to third of country's GDP - minister
A third of Ukraine’s gross domestic product lies in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Ukrainian Interior Ministry Arsen Avakov said.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis) Economic war against Russia 'dead-end policy' – Greek PM
Western anti-Russia sanctions are a “road to nowhere” while dialogue and diplomacy is the way to find solutions for major problems, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told TASS.

Business snaps

Greek debt deal won’t come before Easter - EU president 

A new Greek bailout deal is possible before an end-of-April deadline, EU president Donald Tusk said on Tuesday. However, it will not come before Easter, AFP said. Experts from the IMF and the EU are scrutinizing economic reforms proposed by Athens in a bid to unlock another €7.2 billion in loans to stave off possible bankruptcy.

Ex-finance minister Kudrin says Crimea reunification to cost Russia $200bn  

The fallout from Crimea’s reunification will cost Russia’s economy up to $200 billion over the next few years, AFP quoted a former finance minister as saying on Tuesday. Aleksey Kudrin said annual payouts to the region would set Moscow back up to $7 billion. “All indirect and other losses like capital flight are of course much higher. They could total $150-200 billon over the next three to four years,” Kudrin told reporters.

Lufthansa says insurers set aside $300mn in provisions for Germanwings crash 

Insurers are setting aside $300 million in provisions for the air crash in the French Alps that killed 150 people, German airline Lufthansa said on Tuesday. The sum includes financial compensation for the families of the people who died and the cost of the Airbus A320 jet itself which belonged to the low-cost carrier Germanwings, Reuters reported.

Crude oil falling after last week’s surge 

Crude oil was falling again on Tuesday morning, the Business Insider reported. Prices continued their slide after last week’s surge spurred by the Yemen conflict. During morning trading in New York on Tuesday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down another 2 percent from Monday's close to about $47.70 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, was also lower on Tuesday morning at about $55 a barrel.

Eurozone consumer prices fall 0.1%  

Eurozone consumer prices fell in March for a fourth-consecutive month, the New York Times reported. The prices fell 0.1 percent from a year earlier, according to Eurostat. The inflation rate turned negative in December, falling to minus 0.6 percent in January. In a separate release, the statistical agency said that the jobless rate in the 19 eurozone countries fell to 11.3 percent in February.

Expanded Australian sanctions against Russia come into force 

Australia’s expanded sanctions against Russia over Ukraine came into force on Tuesday, according to a statement published on Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s website. The sanctions, announced in September 2014, restrict exports and imports of weapons and goods associated with petroleum exploration and production, Sputnik reported. They also cover commercial dealings with some financial market instruments issued by Russian state-owned companies and ban a range of Australian exports and investments to Russia’s Crimea.

Visa won’t transfer processing to new Russian payment system on time 

Visa will not be able to transfer processing of transactions made on its credit cards in Russia to a local payment system in time, Vedomosti daily reported Monday, citing officials. MasterCard will make the obligatory April 1 deadline, Reuters said. In February, Visa Inc agreed to transfer processing of transactions made on its cards in Russia to a local payment system.

RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov Gazprom pays $1bn for EU partner shares in South Stream
Russia’s Gazprom has paid $1billion to the consortium of Germany’s Wintershall, Italy’s ENI, and France’s EDF for their stakes in South Stream Transport.
Reuters / Heinz-Peter Bader ​World could run out of minable gold in 20 yrs - report
The explored reserves of gold, diamonds and zinc will be enough for 20 years of extraction, according media reports citing a Goldman Sachs research. The explored reserves of platinum, copper and nickel will last for 40 years.
Reuters / Jason Reed Visa to pay $60mn guarantee as it misses Russian data deadline
The Visa international payment system will be forced to pay a guarantee fee estimated at $60 million for the first quarter of 2015, as it will be unable to transfer Russian domestic processing into the national system of payment cards (NSPC) by April 1.
Reuters / Todd Korol US oil production growth at record 100-yr high in 2014 - EIA
US crude production increased to 1.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 8.7 mbpd in 2014, the largest volume rise since 1900, the date the US Energy Information Administration started keeping records.
Image by China international publishing group Key economic forums in Russia and Asia agree to cooperate
Russia’s annual International Economic Forum held in St. Petersburg agreed to work together with Boao Forum for Asia, which is expected to create new investment opportunities across Russia, China and other Asia-Pacific states.
Reuters/Yannis Behrakis ​Greece to turn to Russia for economic help - media
The Greek government reportedly plans to negotiate a possible reduction in gas prices from Russia and the lifting of the embargo on certain types of Greek products.
Russian flag (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev) and Turkish flag (Reuters/Murad Sezer) Turkey ready to settle deals with Russia in local currencies - economy minister
​Turkey’s Ministry of Economy is to consider using local currency, either the Russian ruble or Turkish lira, in major investment projects with Moscow.
Georges Soros (Reuters/Ruben Sprich) George Soros ready to invest $1bn in Ukraine
US hedge fund billionaire George Soros said he will invest $1 billion in Ukraine provided the West improves investment conditions, and warned there is no such thing as a ‘benevolent investor’.
Chairman of the Board of Russian energy company Gazprom Alexey Miller. (RIA Novosti/Mihail Mokrushin) Gazprom asks govt to extend Ukraine’s gas discount for 3 months
Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has asked the government to consider extending its discount on gas supplied to Ukraine for three more months, said the head of the company Aleksey Miller.

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