UK Transport / Defence Correspondent
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Jul 5, 2012

Superjet crash to overshadow Russia’s Farnborough

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will remind the world of its air power history at the Farnborough Air Show next week as it battles to shift attention from the fatal crash of a new Superjet 100 plane, a disaster that could stall efforts to revive its aviation industry.

Crowds at the flagship industry event are expected to be wowed by a display from a pair of Russian Su-27 ‘Flanker’ fighter jets – planes that came to symbolize the might of the Soviet Union and remain a favorite of enthusiasts for their spectacular stunts.

Jul 5, 2012

Russian bank VTB triples bad debt provisions

MOSCOW, July 5 (Reuters) – Russia’s second-biggest lender
VTB almost tripled provisions for bad loans to 20.4
billion roubles ($630.42 million) in the first quarter, fearing
more borrowers may not be able to repay debt if the global
economy weakens.

The state-controlled bank had been expected to report
provisions of 15.7 billion roubles on Thursday, up from 7.7
billion in the same period in 2011, according to analysts polled
by Reuters.

Jun 25, 2012

Anti-corruption blogger elected to Aeroflot board

MOSCOW, June 25 (Reuters) – Russian opposition activist
Alexei Navalny has been elected to the board of state-controlled
airline Aeroflot, putting the anti-corruption blogger
in a position of influence at one of Russia’s most high-profile

Navalny, also a shareholder activist who has campaigned for
better corporate governance at state firms, was nominated by
Alexander Lebedev – a 15 percent Aeroflot shareholder and owner
of British newspaper The Independent.

Jun 19, 2012

Russia’s Mechel debt woes deepen over problem unit

MOSCOW, June 19 (Reuters) – Indebted Russian coking coal and
steel producer Mechel faces the risk of a further
increase in already-stretched borrowings due to the financial
struggles of subsidiary Estar, which owes it nearly $1 billion.

If Estar defaults on the loan – which falls due at the end
of September – some analysts believe it could lead to renewed
pressure on Mechel’s debt covenants, less than six months after
they were renegotiated for the second time in as many years.

Jun 19, 2012

Russia’s Summa to buy control of transport firm FESCO

MOSCOW, June 19 (Reuters) – Russian investment and trading
group Summa will make an offer to minor shareholders in
transport group FESCO after agreeing to buy the
controlling stake of businessman Sergei Generalov, the company’s
President said on Tuesday.

Shares in FESCO jumped 30 percent on the announcement as
investors bet on a possible mandatory offer for their stock at a
premium to the company’s market value.

Jun 13, 2012

Smart meter firm Echelon eyes Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. energy-saving group Echelon (ELON.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects to double sales of its smart meters in Russia in 2013 as it seeks to offset stagnant Western markets by responding to a growing Russian political will to cut energy waste.

Russia wants to reduce energy intensity – a measure of usage – by 40 percent by 2020 to modernize Soviet-era companies which Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said were only 5-10 percent as energy efficient as foreign rivals in some cases.

May 29, 2012

Russia’s VKontakte delays IPO after Facebook debacle

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian social network VKontakte says it won’t risk going ahead with its planned initial public offering fearing a repeat of the botched Facebook float which left U.S. regulators red-faced and investors around the world fuming.

Chief Executive Pavel Durov, who had secured the backing of 40 percent shareholder internet group Mail.Ru Group over how to take the company forward, said on Tuesday it would postpone the IPO indefinitely.

Apr 27, 2012

Russia’s AvtoVAZ says recalls 100,000 new Lada cars

MOSCOW, April 27 (Reuters) – Russian state car maker AvtoVAZ
said on Friday it will recall nearly 100,000 new Ladas
due to technical faults, delivering a blow to the firm as it
tries to re-brand itself as a reliable modern car manufacturer.

AvtoVAZ, 25 percent owned by France’s Renault,
said in a statement the recalled vehicles were Kalina and Granta
models, two of the company’s most recent designs.

Apr 12, 2012

Russia’s Globaltrans sees freight market accelerating

MOSCOW, April 12 (Reuters) – Russian freight firm
Globaltrans, seen as a barometer of the country’s
economy as it transports the natural resources and metals that
are its lifeblood, sees an 8 percent rise in freight market
turnover in 2012, ahead of 6 percent last year.

“Market developments are positive for the industry .. Large
industrial companies are outsourcing rail transportation
requirements,” Chief Financial Officer Alexander Shenets said on

Mar 28, 2012

Petropavlovsk eyes hike in 2012 gold target

MOSCOW, March 28 (Reuters) – Russia-focused gold miner
Petropavlovsk is likely to increase its 2012 production
target to reflect an increase in capacity at its flagship mines,
chairman Peter Hambro said.

The company, which operates open-pit mines in the Russian
far east, is forecasting a 680,000 oz production figure in 2012
– around 8 percent higher than last year – but this does not
include planned expansion of the Pioneer and Albyn mines.

    • About John

      "I am currently on a six month placement as senior equities correspondent for Reuters in Moscow. Before that I worked in London as a transport and defence correspondent, but in my three years at the company I have written about everything from Congolese mining to Michelle Obama's clothes. I joined from The Scotsman newspaper - based in my home town of Edinburgh."
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