Russia 110214 Basic Political Developments

Russian iron firm plans London IPO

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Russian iron firm plans London IPO
Monday, 14th February 2011



RUSSIA’S biggest iron ore producer is planning to sell 20 per cent of its shares on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the company at £12.3bn.

Metalloinvest, which is half-owned by oligarch Alisher Usmanov, could be launched into the FTSE 100 by the listing.

The company has appointed Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse to handle the offering.

Usmanov, who owns part of Arsenal football club, listed – the Russian social networking site – in London for £570m.

The move comes after a turbulent period for Russian companies looking to list in London.

Three initial public offerings by Russian-based firms were pulled last week as a result of tough market conditions.

Nord Gold, the mining unit of steel giant Severstal, was the biggest firm to scrap plans for an initial public offering (IPO) last week.

The miner, led by billionaire Alexay Mordashov, had been looking to raise up to $1bn (£622m) to pay down debt and make new acquisitions.

Steel pipe maker Chelpipe pulled the plug on a $688m IPO attempt whilst coking coal producer Koks cancelled a $500m effort.

Pump manufacturer HMS Hydraulic was forced to cut its price range in order to list in London.

It will now raise just $360m, as opposed to between $396m and $580m as originally planned.

Unrest in Egypt had hit emerging markets (EM) funds as investors pulled more than $7bn in the week to 2 February.

The firms had hoped investors in EM would become shareholders.

UPDATE 1-Indonesia says Russia to build $3 bln nickel smelter

Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:43am IST

(Updates with details, quote)

JAKARTA Feb 14 (Reuters) - Russian investors plan to build a $3 billion nickel smelter in Halmahera island in eastern Indonesia, a sign of growing interest to invest in the country's mineral processing industry.

Indonesia, the world's top exporter of tin and thermal coal, is keen to increase revenue from the mining sector. Under a new mining and coal law, miners must by 2014 carry out a minimum of processing before exporting, including on nickel.

"There will be a $3 billion foreign direct investment from Russia to build a nickel smelter in Halmahera island," said chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa on Monday, adding groundbreaking will start in the first half of the year.

He did not give details on the Russian investors.

Russia's Norilsk Nickel , in which RUSAL owns a 25 percent stake, is the world's largest nickel miner.

French's Eramet , the world's sixth-largest nickel producer, has a nickel project on Halmahera in a joint venture with Indonesian state miner PT Aneka Tambang Tbk .

Indonesia currently produces ferro-nickel from three nickel smelters operated by Aneka Tambang and nickel-in-matte from smelters operated by PT Inco Tbk , a unit of Brazil's Vale .

Indonesia's mining sector attracted 53 trillion rupiah or $6 billion in bank financing up to September 2010, versus the 14 trillion rupiah that banks loaned to the industry in 2006, central bank figures show, despite uncertainties over the country's new mining law.

Foreign direct investment as a whole is growing into Southeast Asia's biggest economy, as investors eye its mineral wealth, booming domestic consumption and increased stability, despite concerns over rampant corruption, red tape and inadequate infrastructure. (Reporting by Rieka Rahadiana; Writing by Fitri Wulandari; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)

France's Alstom Signs $675M Turbine Joint Venture
14 February 2011

By Roland Oliphant

RusHydro and France's Alstom signed a deal Friday to build a 500 million euro ($677 million) turbine plant in the republic of Bashkortostan.

The two companies will finalize the joint venture before the end of February, the companies' chief executives said Friday.

RusHydro chief Yevgeny Dodd and Alstom head Phillipe Cochet inked the deal at a ceremony attended by President Dmitry Medvedev in the Bashkir capital of Ufa.

"Final conditions of the partnership will be agreed by the end of February," Dodd told reporters Friday.

Neither Dodd nor Cochet was prepared to reveal who would take the controlling stake in the new firm; asked by reporters about financing they responded that "each will finance his stake."

The two sides did not reveal any other financial details of the project.

"The factory will be oriented to the production of hydroelectric equipment for small hydro plants with a capacity of up to 25 megawatts, and also automatic control and complex security systems," RusHydro said in a statement.

Eventually, the plant will produce parts for 100 megawatt and 150 megawatt stations, according to the company's statement.

Construction work will begin in April 2011, and the plant will begin production in 2013, the two companies said. The first items off the line will be two turbine units for the Kubanskiye Cascade, a series of nine hydro electric stations on the Kuban river in the Karachayevo-Cherkessia republic and Stavropol region.

Alstom signed a deal to upgrade the Kubanskiye Cascade plants in December during a visit to Russia by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

The new plant will eventually turn out 12 sets of equipment for the Kubanskiye Cascade, Interfax reported.

Alstom, which regards itself a global leader in power generation and transmission and rail infrastructure, will bring cash, technology and know-how to the new venture, Cochet said.

Dodd said he believed that the management side of the business should be run by Alstom, "because they are builders — we have more operators and marketers."

The two sides eventually hope to sell production from the new plant to customers across the former Soviet Union.

Alstom has been actively expanding its operations in Russia. At the same time it signed its strategic agreement with RusHydro in December, the company reached an agreement to upgrade power stations belonging to Mosenergo, as well.

Alstom's joint venture, Alstom-Atomenergomash, agreed with Rosatom to produce nuclear turbines.

In the field of electricity transmission, Alstom Grid and FSK, the federal operator of the country's unified electrical grid system, signed an agreement to establish a joint research project in the Skolkovo technology zone outside Moscow, focusing on a variety of tasks intended to increase the efficiency, reliability and security of electrical grids.

RusHydro characterized the latest Alstom deal as a pilot project for a future "industrial technopark" in Bashkortostan that the energy company has agreed to build with the republic's government.

Dodd also signed a deal Friday with Bashkir President Rustem Khamitov to set up a 67-hectare industrial and technology park to give the republic's small and medium-sized businesses a boost.

Medvedev told Khamitov to boost employment in the region, at a meeting earlier in the day.

The new park will include production, business and service sectors, and a "small business incubator" where new ventures will receive tax perks.

The goal of the park is to create 10,000 jobs, RusHydro's press release said.

The renewable energy giant and the republic's government have also agreed to establish a multibillion-ruble energy efficiency fund.

The new fund will start with 2 billion rubles ($68.2 million), later increasing to 4 billion rubles, Interfax reported.

Vimpelcom Ltd changes key manager in Russia - needs to focus on Russian operations

VTB Capital
February 14, 2011

News: Vedomosti quotes a Vimpelcom statement this morning as saying that Dmitry Pleskonos, Executive Vice President of Vimpelcom Russia responsible for mass market operations, is to leave the company.

Our View: This resignation is clearly linked to Vimpelcom's loss of revenue market share in Russia and pressure from the shareholders and top management of Vimpelcom Ltd over this. However, we think that the major reasons for Vimpelcom's underperformance are i) greater cost cutting and price lifting in 2009-early 2010 than at MTS and Megafon; ii) Vimpelcom Ltd's focus on the merger with Wind Telecom; and iii) the unclear situation with capex while its major rivals are spending significantly more to develop 3G networks (and Vimpelcom has higher prices but poorer service).

In this situation, we think that Vimpelcom Ltd needs to focus on Vimpelcom Russia's overall strategy and operational measures to correct the situation, including a radical capex increase (so that it does not continue to lose customers).

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