The launch of the first hypermarket ‘Carrefour’ in Russia became the discovery of the week. It has opened in the shopping center ‘Filion’ on the Bagrationovskoe passway. The retailer has planned the opening the two more stores – in Krasnodar and Lipetsk – before the end of this year.

The ‘Megafon’ company timed the introduction of the new  tariff  ‘Special. Special for Carrefour’ to coincide with the store opening. The main distinction is  that every other minute of airtime is free on the store premises, which is an original way of attracting the customers.
World retail giant took time-out in negotiations regarding the purchase of ‘’The Seventh Continent”. In the beginning of June “Carrefour” requested Deutsche Bank for a 45-day break in the negotiations so that the retailer could make the final offer. However Deutsche Bank doesn’t have the intention to wait so long and can reopen the negotiations with other claimants by the end of June. Earlier  the investment funds such as Apax Partners, Baring Vostok Capital Partners, TPG were interested in ‘The Seventh”.

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All week long the passions ran high around “the dairy conflict”.  On Sunday Belarus defiantly refused to participate in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) session in Moscow because Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights prohibited the import of almost all dairy products from Belarus. However the Chairman of the Russian Government Vladimir Putin asked Russian functionaries to be careful in their statements about  Belarus. 

In the middle of the week the vice-minister of the economical development Andrey Slepnev stated that  Belarusian dairy products will appear on the Russian market  within a few weeks.

On Thursday Moscow and Minsk announced the resolution of the dairy conflict. The head of the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights Gennadiy Onischenko declared that the delivery of Belorussian dairy products would  resume the same day. However it doesn’t mean that the stand of between two fraternal countries has finished. Minsk has already [tightened the security at the border with Russian Federation and declared that 20 % of Russian beer is imported into the country illegally. Russia has applied the surefire weapon: yesterday Gasprom demanded that ‘Beltransgas” repay the  $ 230 debt  on short notice. 

On Friday the official Minsk gave its own handling of the dairy war: that’s the Moscow’s reaction to Belarus and European Union coming closer together and the unscrupulous competition. 

The main executive director of X5 Retail Group Lev Khasis as well as other experts in the field have also given their opinion about the political beverage of the week. 

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The Retail Companies Association announced the signing of the Code conscientious practices, destined to fix up the relations between retailers and  suppliers. Now the document is waiting for the approval of the Federal Antimonopoly Service. However it turned out that the Code was signed only by the members of the  Retail Companies Association, but even among them there are people unsatisfied with the document content. The dairy product producers don’t accept the Code and continue to rely on  the trading  law. 
 
The draft of the trading law has already been edited by Russian Federation Ministry of Industry and Trade which took into account the recommendations of the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Ministry of Agriculture. The retailers are content. The edited document sets limits of the ultimate payment delay by trade networks: no more than 30 days for common goods, no more than 14 days for socially significant ones. The draft should be finished before June 24.

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This week The Public Chamber introduced the concept of Government Regulation of alcohol market. The key provision of which will be the reinstitution of the government’s monopoly on the retail sell of alcohol and rising the excise tax in order to combat the excessive consumption of alcohol and counterfeit. In the opinion of the alcohol producers, these proposals will lead to opposite results. The subject is brought up intentionally – the matter of Government Regulation of the alcohol market may be discussed at one of the nearest up-coming sessions of the government  presidium.

The draft bill of the absolute prohibition of advertising beer on television and radio as well as in the movie theaters and videosalons was introduced in the Duma. The lawmakers explained their initiative as the care about children. 

In Ukraine there is also a campaign for sobriety. In the Supreme Rada they introduced a bill proposing a ban on sale and consumption of beer and other  low-alcoholic beverages in close proximity to cultural, sports and educational establishments and on public transportation. The first draft was already passed in the Parliament and is now in the final stages of completion.

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The situation with Cherkizovskiy market is still being discussed on the pages of the Russian press.    A multiagency headquarters of the security agencies headed by Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation has even been created in order to combat the Cherkizovskiy market. If during the course of the inspection the sign of criminal non-compliance with the decision of Moscow Arbitration Court in 2007 regarding the demolition of the market are revealed, the matter will also be referred to the Investigative Committee. A member of the Duma and a functionary at the Mayor’s Office state that the attack on the market and the founder of AST (the Cherkizowskiy market owner) Telman Ismailov are a part of pressure of the Kremlin on the Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov who is on good terms with Ismailov. However the source close to the Mayor says that this is not so and the law enforcement complaints are personally against Ismailov.   

This week the capital’s Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told in live broadcast that the Cherkizovskiy market may be shut down before the end of the year.
   
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The Prosecutor-General’s Office of Russian Federation has started the procedure of extradition from Great Britain of the former co-owner of “Euroset” Evgeniy Chichvarkinin connection with charges of kidnapping and extortion against him in Russia. 

The agency has already sent a request to London. According to the international rules the extradition requests are handled in the Court.  The businessman’s defense  counsel will argue that his prosecution has a political background, promises Chichvarkin’s lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov. 

On Thursday National Bureau of Interpol at the Ministry of the Interior of Russian Federation stated that possesses the information on the on the businessman’s whereabouts. The Bureau has received two addresses from Great Britain at which Evgeniy Chichvarkinmay be found. The Russian branch of Interpol intends to await the arrest of the businessman by the British authorities.   

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Last week the company “Lenta”  gathered the journalists in order to tell them about their achievements and plans for the future.
The managing director of the company Alexei Bobrov told about the planned increase of revenue in 2009 by 28%. The volume of the current debt should inversely decrease from 12 billion to 9 billion by the end of the year.

It also became known that Oleg Zherebtsov who owns 35% of the shares in “Lenta” has refinanced his $50 M loan at the MDM-Bank where the collateral is his share in the network. The Bank which had demanded the repayment of the loan back at the end of 2008, has extended the term until 2011 at the rate of 11%. The bank has agreed to replace the rate increase with a one-time compensation  which it will receive in case of the sale of “Lenta”. According to the calculations of  the investment bankers the amount of the compensation may be anywhere from $7 M to $9 M.  

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“Sberbank Capital” and the Direct Investments Fund which is controlled by the executive board member Evgeniy Novitskiy  have received the control of the “Mosmart” Group only last week, but have already statrted the reconstruction of the network. Some tens of millions of dollars will be spent on this by the end of 2009. According to the plan approved by the shareholders by the end of 2009 the hypermarkets must achieve the levels of 2007 when the yearly revenue  from 1 sq.m in the capital hypermarket was approximately 350000 rub. In order to  restore the  range matrix “Mosmart” has to arrange for resuming of deliveries with the pool of 1000 suppliers. The company is already discussing repayment terms and continuation of deliveries with most of them. 

However after the announcement about “Sberbank” and the executive  board member of the “Sistema” Corporation Evgeniy Novitskiy  as the new shareholders of “Mosmart” , the alcohol products supplier  — Chuvash “Prodtorg” Ltd. – has requested that the Court declare “Mosmart” bankrupt. 

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As promised two months ago, IKEA is firing its Samara personnel. About 250 people will be fired, including the staff of the IKEA store and the management of the family shopping center  MEGA. The Swedish company  sates that it has no possibility to keep the positions because the Samara functionaries demand to completely overhaul the entire packet of project documentation which will take 4-6 months. The Regional Government  assures that the matter is not only connected with the papers but also the construction shortcomings.

 The digest was prepared by Retailer.RU and was translated by iTrex company. Itrex is a translation bureau. It offers written and oral translation, notary certification and a lot more. Itrex does work with every language: European, Eastern languages and others. Itrex does work with every topic: technical, legal, financial, business, etc.

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