din RIA Novosti …


Regulator rules Gazprom Neft guilty of antitrust violations

MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom, has been found to have violated antitrust law, Russia’s antimonopoly regulator announced on Thursday.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) said the crude producer had abused its dominant position on the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel markets in the first half of 2009.

“The commission of the Federal Antimonopoly Service has declared Gazprom Neft guilty of violating Point 1 of Article 10 of the law on the protection of competition by abusing its dominant position on the market,” the FAS said in a statement on its website.

According to the FAS, Gazprom Neft withdrew products from the market to increase prices, creating discriminatory conditions for some petrochemical dealers.

The regulator warned that Gazprom Neft would have to pay a fine equivalent from 1% to 15% of its 2008 sales, and said it would take the company’s earlier violations into account.

The company said it would contest the regulator’s decision.

“The decision by the FAS showed once again a lack of transparent rules that could be clear to all market players,” deputy CEO Yelena Ilyukhina said on Wednesday.

Gazprom Neft, Russia’s fifth largest crude producer, posted a 5.8% decrease in oil output to 30.8 million metric tons (226.4 mln bbl) last year.

It was fined 1.35 billion rubles ($37 million) in November 2008 for keeping artificially high prices, although the St. Petersburg Arbitration Court has since overturned the FAS ruling.

Eight Russian firms on Fortune’s list of 500 largest corporations

MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – Eight Russian companies have made it into Fortune magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s 500 largest corporations.

Two Russian companies have made it into the top 100 – energy giant Gazprom (22) and independent oil producer LUKoil (65).

They are followed by state oil firm Rosneft (168), Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP (234), state savings bank Sberbank (310), another oil and gas company, Surgutneftegaz (420), and metals producer Evraz Group (454).

The Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell was crowned the world’s largest corporation, toppling U.S. Exxon Mobil from the top of the list.

Russian exports to decline by $190 bln 2009

ULAN-UDE, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – The total value of Russian exports will drop by $190 billion in 2009, while imports will decrease by $100 billion, the country’s finance minister said on Thursday.

“Export revenues will decline by $190 billion,” Alexei Kudrin said at an international economic conference on the role of Siberia and the Far East in global development.

Kudrin said this was due to lower demand and falling prices for Russia’s exports, which are primarily oil, gas and commodities.

The minister urged the government to encourage diversification in the economy.

Russian exports halved in the first five months of this year, according to Kudrin. He also said forecasts for the Russian economic development were currently based on expected low demand for Russian gas, oil and primary commodities.

The Federal Statistics Service said in February that exports were worth $471.8 billion in 2008, with imports totaling $292 billion.


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