Archive for the ‘corporate intelligence’ Category

Russia Increases Oil Production   1 comment

Russia, the world’s largest oil producer, has increased monthly crude output by 0.3 percent in May of 2013, to the highest level of the year,according to preliminary data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit.

Output of crude and condensate was 44.3 million metric tons, or 10.481 million barrels a day.

OAO Gazprom (GAZP), Russia’s gas export monopoly, boosted output by 5.8 percent to 353,000 barrels a day. OAO Rosneft (ROSN), the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer, and its subsidiary OAO TNK-BP produced 3.85 million barrels last month, up 0.3 percent from April, according to the data.

Russia set a post-Soviet-era production record of 10.49 million barrels a day in November. Soviet-era production in Russia peaked in 1987 at 11.48 million barrels a day. President Vladimir Putin has called for production to be maintained at more than 10 million barrels.

For more information on the Russian oil industry, contact RADA LLC, a leading provider of due diligence services in Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

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2013: The Year of the Snake   Leave a comment

year-of-the-snake

RADA conducts due diligence and business intelligence investigations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Tatarstan: Emerging Leader In Vodka?   Leave a comment

MAY 8, 2012: To some, Tatarstan may seem like an odd place to launch the next stage of a booming global vodka business, but then again Rustam Tariko (pictured), who made his fortune through an eclectic mix of alcohol and banking, has never been one to do things by the book.

Having successfully turned his high-end vodka business, Russky Standart, into an international name in just over a decade, the Tatar billionaire has returned to his home region, where he hopes his investments in a local spirit distillery will help propel his business even further on the global market.

The company has invested 500 million rubles ($16 million) in modernizing the small spirit plant in Buinsk, some 130 kilometers from Kazan, since purchasing it from the Tatarstan government two years ago. Now the company hopes to use it to produce highquality spirit, which is to be the core ingredient to be used at its St. Petersburg distillery.

Despite the cost of the project, and the logistical matter of the new plant being some 1,600 kilometers of (mostly) bad road away from the old distillery, the company’s management says the investment will give the company a unique edge over other producers of high-end vodka, few of which have facilities to produce their own spirits.

Once the new plant is up and running, they will begin developing facilities to cover the initial stage of the vodka-production process – growing a unique Russky Standart variety of grain – also in Tatarstan.

Although Tatarstan is Tariko’s home region, company management said it chose the plant due to its high-quality technical facilities, rather than due to any emotional attachment to the area. Russky Standart’s technical director, Vladimir Fomin, told The Moscow News the plant was selected in an audit of 40 distilleries across Russia.

The other attraction of the area, he said, is its proximity to highquality grain, which flourishes in the fertile black earth of the lowlands surrounding the nearby Volga River.

There is little doubt that investment from a global company will bring significant benefit to Tatarstan, which has been busy developing its business climate in recent years. The efforts of the autonomous republic’s government to support business activity and enshrine investor privileges in the law led Tatarstan to be named Russia’s best region for doing business in a study conducted by Ernst and Young last year.

In a show of his approval of the Russky Standart project, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov dropped in on the launch in a helicopter for a quick tour of the modernized factory and some private talks with Tariko.

The St. Petersburg plant currently relies on ingredients bought on the market

For Russky Standart the investment is a fairly bold bet at a time when most producers of high-end goods are cutting back in anticipation of a fresh bout of global recession.

Full vertical integration is very much a luxury in an industry where most big brands buy their primary ingredients relatively cheaply on the market, as Russky Standart has done until now, with seemingly little detriment to its reputation. The brand is growing at a rate of around 25 percent a year on international markets, while sales of others are falling flat.

The company’s management admitted that the new plant was unlikely to bring them any immediate financial gain, and is aimed more at securing their position as a producer of high-quality and authentic vodka in the long run.

Then there is the other issue that is raising alarm bells among Russian vodka producers: a hefty load of excise taxes the government plans to slap on alcohol and cigarettes in a bid to combat Russia’s health problems. The taxes could cause minimum vodka prices to rise by 30 percent this year, Russian media reported this week.

But Tariko said that neither tax hikes nor the state of the global economy worried him. The taxes, he said, target cheap vodka and will have little effect on premium brands like Russky Standart, which usually goes for about 1,000 rubles (about $30) a bottle.

And while the new factory may be a gamble, Tariko has a good track record of pulling off business ventures against the odds. His decision in the late 1990s to name his consumer banking business after his vodka brand raised eyebrows, but it quickly became one of the country’s most profitable banks.

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RADA conducts due diligence and business intelligence investigations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Russian Crude Oil Forecast For 2012   Leave a comment

January 21, 2012: The Russian Energy Ministry expects crude oil production to edge up by 1 percent this year to a new record as a decline in output at traditional fields will be offset by a rise in new deposits, a deputy minister said today.

Last year, oil output in Russia, the world’s top crude producer, edged up 1.2 percent to reach a new post-Soviet high of 10.27 million barrels per day (bpd), or 511 million tonnes.

“Taking into consideration companies plans, this would be around 1 percent. We will add some 5 million tonnes,” said Sergey Kudryashov. The growth would slow further from 2.2 percent in 2010.

 

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RADA conducts due diligence and business intelligence investigations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

RADA: Russian Due Diligence Case Study (St. Petersburg Technology Company)   Leave a comment

RADA was approached to perform due diligence on a technology company based in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A preliminary check of Russian corporate records showed that the company was, in fact, registered at the address given on their website.

A call to the phone number listed on the website, however, did not connect to the company in question, but rather to a credit company. The people at the credit company were very helpful, they advised that they had had the phone number for several years, and that they had never heard of the other company.

Various search engines showed that the number was, in fact, connected to the credit company; the only site with linking the number to the technology company was the technology company’s own site.

Several other companies seemed to be located at the address used by the technology company on their website. Several of them were contacted by telephone. None seemed to know about the technology company, and one provided contact information for the leasing agent. The leasing agent advised that they had been managing the property for several years, and that they had never heard of the technology company.

RADA’s client decided not to pursue business with the technology company, as it could not be located with any degree of reliability.

RADA conducts due diligence and business intelligence investigations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Highlights of Interview with Gazprom CFO Kruglov   Leave a comment

Russian natural-gas giant OAO Gazprom’s net profit in 2011 will probably rise 25% to $40 billion, Chief Financial Officer Andrei Kruglov said in an interview with Gazprom’s corporate magazine.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are expected to rise more than 30% to $60 billion, Kruglov said in the interview.

“The favorable external environment and a strict control of operations will bring the company increased profitability,” Kruglov said.

Gazprom expects higher prices for its gas sales in Europe, as well as higher export volumes, he said.

“Despite the increased tax burden on the gas industry, the company’s finances will continue to improve,” Kruglov said.

Soyuz Space Mission to the International Space Station   Leave a comment

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian, an American and a Dutchman to the International Space Station blasted off flawlessly from Russia’s launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan on December 21, 2011.

Mission commander Oleg Kononenko and his colleagues, American Don Pettit and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers are to dock with the space station on Friday.

The blastoff took place without a hitch and the spacecraft reached Earth orbit about nine minutes later. Video from inside the craft showed the three crew members gripping each others’ hands in celebration as the final stage of the booster rocket separated.

The three aboard the Russian spacecraft will join three others already on the ISS, NASA’s Dan Burbank and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin. The six are to work together on the station until March 2012.