The most celebrated event of the week was definitely Vladimir Putin’s visit to a store. After the government’s meeting devoted to discussion of the Trade Law the Prime Minister came to the Perekryostok supermarket in Osenniy boulevard in order to find a heart of the conflict between suppliers and retailers. Vladimir Putin got indignant with the high prices on meat. The next day X5 Retail Group informed that “the next week another 10 units of the meat products would have special reduced prices, and from July, 1st all the Perekryostok stores would have a great sale with reducing the prices from 30% till 80% on more than 3000 units of the products”.
Vladimir Putin gave the green light on the speedy introduction of the Trade Law to the State Duma. Within 10 days the bill will be completed on the basis of Minpromtorg’s version. The article on antimonopoly trade regulation, which gave rise to the most concern in business, will be mostly changed. Inaccuracy of the domination criteria offered by Minpromtorg in its text will be compensated by reduction of fines. Instead of the quantitative criteria identifying the dominating position of the network the law will use the term “the market force”. The reverse fines will be replaced by the common ones – up to 1 million rubles.
This week the network “Seventh Continent” allowed the technical default on obligations a 7 billion rubles: the bond holders only at 5 billion rubles agreed with the restructuring conditions offered by the retailer (exchange of 80% of the shares to the new commercial paper issue with the income of 17% per annual).
The credit a 4.8 billion rubles from MDM-bank given for one day only didn’t even help the Seventh Continent. It was aimed at purchasing the commercial papers a 5.8 billion rubles. The Seventh Continent hoped to exchange them within the offer limits to the second-series obligations issued at 7 billion rubles. The hopes that the shareholders would agree, foreseeing that the deal on selling the Seventh Continent to the French group Carrefour will take place, didn’t justify. The shareholders at once addressed the court: the Moscow Arbitrage Court registered the action of Raiffeisenbank to the retail network Seventh Continent on the capital issues category.
The Seventh Continent sold 50% of the trade and entertainment center “Shokolad” being now built at the MKAD bound and Reutov in the Moscow region to GK “Tashir”. At the beginning the companies established a joint company on a par with each other for developing this project, but the retailer decided to refuse its ownership right and take the area in a long-term renting.
Anders Dalvig, the president of IKEA group, in his interview to a Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri said: “We shall suspend our expansion in Russia until we have some strict signs of improving the unforeseen bureaucratic system”. The reason of such words was the “unforeseen character of administrative procedures in some regions <…> in particular, the prolonged waiting for a full allowing document package necessary for opening IKEA and MEGA in Samara”. Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the Swedish IKEA Group, also accused the Russian electricity and gas distributors in rendering the overpriced bills. Due to this fact the company has lost €136 million. Now IKEA is seeing the relevant compensation in the court and transfers the stores to their own generators.
However, IKEA will continue preparation for building MEGA in Tomsk. While implementing this particular project the Swedish company doesn’t have any claims to the Russian authorities. The Tomsk officials expect that the first investments will already be done in October, when the auction on the land area, where the trade and entertainment center is to be placed, will take place.
From the beginning of the week the instruction on the new mobile phones registering procedure has come in force. Now the customs officers are to examine 100% of the goods. The boxes are to be opened and the compliance of the telephones to all the predicated technical requirements is to be checked. In particular, types of the batteries, built-in memory cards, IMEA-numbers of the telephones, etc. are to be verified.
However, already by the middle of the week the Federal Customs Service (FCS) began to consider “the possibility of expanding the practice of selective control” of the telephone batches imported in Russia. This happened due to the producer’s and suppliers appeals.
The Alfa-group structures became major co-owners of the Sunrise retails network. Alfa-bank and A1 received this asset for their debts. One action of Alfa-bank a 30.2 million rubles (prosecuted in March 2009) to several companies of Sunrise group is registered at the web-site of Moscow Arbitrage Court. However, they will still have to fight for a part of Sunrise assets – in particular, for the main network store, also being pretended to by EAA Asset Management Consulting.
Sberbank, which at the beginning of June became an owner of 50% plus 1 share of the head company of Mosmart network, gave an option to Evgeny Novitskiy, a member of AFK Sistema board of directors (bought 10% of Mosmart). The option is for purchasing 20% of his holding in 2012 at the condition that the retailer will continuously service its debt to Sberbank. Mr Novitskiy will receive another 30% of Mosmart after paying the whole debt to Sberbank.
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