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Business

Dateline
April 17, 2014 10:52
Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Alexey Nikolsky)
Pre-payment for gas to Ukraine if current bills not met - Putin
Gazprom will switch to a pre-payment system in one month if Ukraine doesn’t start paying for natural gas imports from Russia, President Vladimir Putin has warned during Thursday's 12th annual question and answer session. 50
Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov (AFP Photo) Usmanov ranked Russia’s richest man for a third time
Alisher Usmanov, the CEO of Gazprominvestholding and the largest shareholder of USM Holdings, has topped Forbes ranking of Russia’s wealthiest for a third year in a row, with his fortune rising $1 billion to $18.6 billion in 2014. 6
Reuters / Thomas Peter EU companies warn policymakers against Russian sanctions
Some of Europe’s biggest companies like UK’s BP and Germany's BASF have told their governments economic sanctions against Russia would hurt them badly. The warning comes as Russia, the US, Ukraine and the EU are discussing the crisis in Geneva Thursday. 7
Reuters / Henry Romero Putin says oil wars with Russia will make West bleed
Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer. 203

Business snaps

Amazon workers in Germany to walk off job  

Hundreds of Amazon.com workers in Germany were expected to walk off the job on Thursday. Services union, Verdi, was continuing a string of strikes aimed at swaying the e-commerce giant on wage levels, the Wall Street Journal reported. Workers at Amazon’s logistics centers in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld planned to stage an all-day strike, the second at Amazon's German operations this year. The union expected between 400 and 500 employees to strike at each location.

Russian Central Bank withdraws Kaspiy Bank, AF Bank licenses 

The Russian Central Bank has withdrawn the Kaspiy Bank’s license in Dagestan today, RIA Novosti reported. The CB accused the bank of violating the law against money-laundering and terrorism financing as it was reportedly involved in suspicious cash operations worth a total of 550 million rubles in 2013. The Bank of Russia has also revoked the banking license of the Bashkortostan-based AF Bank, ITAR-TASS reported. The Bank of Russia said the AF Bank pursued a high-risk credit-lending policy connected with the allocation of monetary resources in low-quality assets.

Ukraine crisis proves need for South Stream project - Bulgarian FM 

The situation in Ukraine really proves the need to implement the South Stream gas pipeline project, ITAR-TASS quoted Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin as saying. The minister said on Thursday that it is important for European citizens to have guarantees of gas supply security as the Ukrainian crisis may lead to the disruption of Russian natural gas transit. “We cannot be hostages to the economic, political and financial stability of transit countries,” Vigenin said.

Russia-China cooperation at unprecedented level – Putin 

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the relations of trust and cooperation between Russia and China, including those on approaches to international problems, are at an unprecedented level. Russia's trade turnover with China is almost three times as big as that with the US and stands at $87 billion. Many experts agree that in the economic sphere China has been developing as a world leader, Putin said.

Ruble strengthening as Putin says no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine 

The Russian currency started to strengthen against the dollar on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin said claims that Russian forces were present in eastern Ukraine were “rubbish.” The ruble is 35.86 against the dollar, 13 kopecks less than previous closing, Interfax reported. The euro stood at 49.69 rubles, losing 3.5 kopecks. The bi-currency price ($0.55 and euro 0.45) decreased by 8.5 kopecks to 42.08 rubles.

Russian banks take out $22.5bn from foreign banks - newspaper 

Resources of Russian banks in foreign banks decreased by 813.8 billion rubles ($22.5 billion) in March, Izvestia daily said, citing banks’ reports issued by April 1. The previous ‘record’ was set in September 2013, when 387.6 billion rubles were taken out from foreign banks. The first such outflow was in August 2009 – 200.7 billion rubles.

AFP Photo/Fabio Bucciarelli Mega oil field discovered in southern Russia
A new oil field with roughly 300 million tons of oil and 90 billion cubic meters of gas has been discovered in the Astrakhan region of Russia. 75
Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides (Reuters/Yuri Gripas) Cyprus warns economic sanctions against Russia will destroy its economy
Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told a German newspaper Wednesday that economic sanctions against Russia by Europe would destroy the Cypriot economy, adding that every EU state should decide separately whether they want to cut ties with Moscow. 32
Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian federation, Dmitry Kozak (AFP Photo) ​Sochi Olympics made $22 mn profit
The Sochi Games became the first profitable Olympic Games in a decade, surpassing spending by $22 million, says Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. 39
The city embankment in Yalta, Crimea. (RIA Novosti/Mihail Mokrushin) Crimea economy to grow 7% per year in next 3 years
The economy of Crimea could expand by 6-7 percent annually through 2017, says Russia’s business advocate Boris Titov. Most of the growth is expected to come from tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. 41
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov (RIA Novosti/Sergey Guneev) Ukraine backlash could result in 0% Russia GDP growth
Escalating violence in Eastern Ukraine could be a blow to Russia’s economy, with 0 percent growth a possibility according to the Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. 46
Reuters / Johannes Eisele Germany first to deliver European gas to Ukraine
German energy company RWE has started delivering gas to Ukraine as natural resource tension between Kiev and Moscow has been heating up over gas debts and prices. 52

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