Far East

Russian Gold Production Increases, but Fails to Meet Expectations

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Feb. 6 – Russian gold production rose 3.6 percent year-on-year in 2011 to 209 metric tons, but below an earlier forecast, data published on Wednesday by the Gold Industrialists’ Union industry lobby showed.

The union expected Russia to produce 211 tons of gold last year – up from 202 tons in 2010 – of which 185 tons was expected to be mined.

Despite missing expectations, Russia, whose reserves are second only to South Africa’s, managed to return to positive growth after annual output declined by 1.4 percent in 2010. Continue reading…

Sino-Russian ‘Bad Dates’ and Chinese Relations with ‘Abandonment Child’ of Moscow

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By Marina Romanova

Sino-Russian series of bad dates
Chinese-American international energy consultant Edward Chow once said that the Russian-Chinese energy relationship isn’t a marriage, but rather “a series of bad dates.” As far as their energy relationship goes – also keeping in mind the two rather extreme types of relationship of ‘honeymoon’ (1950s) and ‘divorce’ (1960s and 1970s) between Beijing and Moscow – the whole Sino-Russian strategic partner can be described with this kind of metaphor.

Chinese businessmen and bureaucrats are playing a part in almost every Russian investment round-table and economic forum. And it wouldn’t be too much to say that almost every presentation by Chinese participants contains some words about Russia’s “investment unattractiveness” as one of the main reasons not to invest in the Russian economy. Continue reading…

Toyota Corp. to Open Dealerships in Far East Russia by Next Summer

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Dec. 23 – Toyota Motor Corp. plans to open new authorized dealer’s centers in the Far East Russian cities of Khabarovsk, Vladivostok and Nakhodka by summer of 2012, President of Toyota Motors Russia Takeshi Isogaya said in a statement released to the press.

Dealer’s centers would be established in concentrated areas within the cities already receiving Japanese investment. Continue reading…

Oil Tax Reforms to Be Set in Weeks

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Sept. 19 – Oil tax reforms should be set shortly, a senior Exxon executive told reporters last Friday.

Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft signed a major deal with ExxonMobil last month to drill for oil and gas in the Russian Arctic without a clear tax regime for the potentially capital-intensive project.

The initial commitment was US$3.2 billion, but the costs could run into double digit billions. Russian oil companies pay some of the world’s highest taxes on their mature onshore production, but breaks are granted for new fields or difficult conditions. Continue reading…

PayPal to Enter Russian e-Payments Market

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Aug. 26 – American payment system PayPal will begin carrying out money transfers in Russia and the Ukraine starting from the end of September, the company said in a statement.

The PayPal web site has published new money transfer tariffs that will come into force on September 24.

The fee for sending money to Russia will range from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent depending on the country you are sending it from. Sending money within Russia will cost 1 percent. Continue reading…

Evraz to Construct New Coking Coal Mine in Siberian Kemerovo Region

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Aug. 23 – Russian steel-maker Evraz Group has started construction of the Yerunakovskaya-VIII coking coal mine within its existing coal mining division Yuzhkuzbassugol in Russia’s Siberian Kemerovo region, the company said in a press release. Construction of the new mine will increase the level of vertical integration, providing its steel-making facilities with high quality coking coal.

According to the company’s statement, the total investment in the project will amount to approximately US$590 million spent over the next three years. The coal mine is planned to start operations by mid-2013. Continue reading…

Kim Visits Power Plant in Amur, En Route to Ulan-Ude

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Aug. 22 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il toured a hydroelectric plant in the Amur region yesterday as he traveled by train through Russia on his first visit in nine years. Kim crossed into Russia on his armored train Saturday at the invitation of President Medvedev, with the two leaders expected to meet later in the week to discuss the restart of nuclear disarmament talks and the construction of a pipeline that would stream Russian natural gas to North and South Korea. The train stopped in the border city of Khasan, where Kim was greeted by senior Russian officials, including Viktor Ishayev, presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.

On Sunday, Kim toured a hydroelectric power plant and its 139-meter dam on the Bureya River. Russia has proposed transmitting surplus electricity produced by the Amur plant to South Korea via North Korea, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, a situation that will require North Korean cooperation but which the Russians are keen to secure. Continue reading…

Dalian Riots Won’t Affect Russian Tourism

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Aug. 19 – Demonstrations in the northeast Chinese city of Dalian will not impede the tourist sector of Russian Far East, market participants declared.

Demonstrators in the port city of Dalian, in Liaoning Province, faced down a wall of police in riot gear in front of the municipal government office last weekend. Minor scuffles broke out, although there was no report of injuries among the 12,000 protesters, state news agency Xinhua said.

State media said last Monday that residents in Dalian were forced to flee when a storm battering the northeast Chinese coast whipped up waves that burst through a dyke protecting the Fujia plant, which makes paraxylene (PX), a toxic petrochemical used in polyester. Continue reading…

Japanese AGC to Construct US$250 Mln Factory in Siberian Tomsk

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Aug. 18 – The Asahi Glass Company (AGC), a Japanese manufacturer of automobile glass, plans to construct a glass factory in the Siberian Tomsk region, according to the region’s vice-governor Oksana Kozlovsky.

″The decision to build the factory in the Tomsk region with investment totaling US$250 million was made in Bruxelle last week,″ she told Interfax. The final decision will be made within the month.

Tatyana Valevich from Tomsk regional authorities has confirmed the Interfax information, while adding that the exact location and capacity of the future glass factory have not yet been discussed. Continue reading…

Russia Needs More Overseas Tourists to Attract Foreign Investors

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Jul. 29 – Russia has to grow its tourism industry to attract more foreign investment to the economy, following Georgia and Brazil as role models.

“There are synergies between foreign investment behavior and the number of foreign tourists visiting the country,” Oleg Mazurov, CEO of Allianz Rosno Asset Management writes in his column in Russian daily Vedomosti.

In this case, post-Soviet Georgia has become a good example to follow. Within the last two years, the country has turned into a “hot” investment idea and is gaining in popularity as a holiday destination at the same time. Continue reading…

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