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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 13, 2004

13 August 2004
LG's Contract In Tatarstan To Be South Korea's Biggest In Russia
A protocol to begin building a petrochemical and oil refining complex in Tuben Kama with the participation of South Korea's LG International Corp. and Tatarstan's Tatneft, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, and Svyazinvestneftekhim is scheduled to be signed during a visit by South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun to Russia in September, LG President-General Director Byung Joo Keum said on 11 August while visiting Tuben Kama, AK&M reported on 12 August. Keum said his visit to Tatarstan is to prepare for Roh's visit to Russia. He also said the contract on the construction of the Tuben Kama petrochemical facility will be the largest ever between Russia and South Korea.

The entire project -- which is expected to cost $2.5 billion -- will include an oil refinery capable of handling 7 million tons of oil a year, an ethylene plant to produce 600,000 tons a year, and polymer facilities to process them into finished goods. The $1.5 billion first stage of the project will include yearly production of 40,000 tons of foamed polystyrene and 200,000 tons of polyethylene at Nizhnekamskneftekhim and the deep oil processing facility at the Tuben Kama Oil Refinery.

LG International was established in 1953 as a part of LG Corp., and makes up 8 percent of South Korean gross domestic product and 10 percent of the country's exports. In 2003, its sales exceeded $18 billion.

Tatarstan's Instrument-Makers To Unite In Holding
Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov and the visiting head of the federal Radio-Electronic Industry Development board, Yurii Borisov, agreed on 12 August to form a state-run holding to unite companies producing identification systems for air, sea, and land, and "Kommersant-Povolzhe" reported on 12 and 13 August, respectively.

Kazan radio-electronics companies will form the basis of the new holding. The Tatar government promised to give republic-owned stakes in Kazan Radiopribor Plant, the Elmet Radiopribor Plant, and the Kazan Electrotechnical Plant to the new holding.

The establishment of a unified center to develop identification systems has been discussed by Moscow and Kazan for three years but Tatarstan has been resisting the privatization of its companies in the sector. Borisov said after the meeting that the Kazan Scientific Research Institute of Radioelectronics, Kazan Electrotechnical Plant, and Kazan Radiopribor will join the holding while the Shimko Scientific Industrial Center of Radioelectronics and the Scientific Research Institute for computer systems will become leading designers. Tatar Deputy Prime Minister Aleksei Pakhomov said the scientific design, technological, and industrial basis of the holding will be concentrated in Kazan.

Ak Bars Bank Among Russia's 30 Leading Banks
Ak Bars Bank was ranked among Russia's 30 leading banks in the Russian Central Bank's 1 July rating, reported on 12 August, citing the Ak Bars Bank spokesman. Ak Bars Bank is among four regional credit organizations on the list along with St. Petersburg's MENATEP and Promstroibank and Bashkortostan's UralSib.

Group Of Counterfeit Compact Discs Sellers Caught
The Russian Interior Ministry's chief Anti-Economic Crimes Directorate stopped a distribution channel for counterfeit CDs and DVDs to Russia's regions, reported on 12 August, citing the Russian Interior Ministry's website. Members of the criminal group have been sending on the mailwagons of trains to Moscow up to 50,000 fake discs a day. One of the entrepreneurs was detained at Moscow's Kazan train station as he received a stash of counterfeit compact discs.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

External Management Imposed On Ishimbai Machine-Building Plant
The Bashkir Arbitration Court has imposed external management on the Vityaz transport-machine-building plant in Ishimbai, Interfax-Povolzhe reported on 12 August, citing Vityaz General Director Robert Wahapov. The ruling was issued at Wahapov's request. Vityaz has debts of 140 million rubles ($4.8 million), 60 percent of which are owed to the federal government, while 18 percent is owed to Bashkirenergo. The federal government owns 38 percent of Vityaz, while 18 percent belongs to Bashkortostan. Vityaz is Russia's only producer of caterpillar transporters for the Defense Ministry.

Bashkir Delegation To Attend Congress Of Finno-Ugric Peoples
Representatives from Bashkortostan will take part in the fourth World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples in Tallinn, Estonia, on 15-19 August, Bashinform reported on 12 August. The Bashkir delegation includes Bashkortostan's Mordovian Naional Cultural Autonomy Chairman Nikolai Gerasimov, Republican Udmurt National Cultural Center Deputy Chairman Yurii Sadyrov, Marii Ushem Public Organization Chairman Pavel Bikmurzin, and the Bashkir government's Humanitarian Issues and Nationalities Affairs Department chief specialist Valentina Latypova. The congress is held to promote the development and preservation of national cultures and languages of the Finno-Ugric peoples.

New Chief Architect In Ufa
Remzit Makulov, 47, the new chief architect of Ufa, was introduced to employees of the Ufa Chief Architecture and City Construction Board on 12 August, "Komsomolskaya pravda in Ufa" reported on 13 August. Makulov is known as an author of a monument in Ufa's southern cemetery to commemorate victims of the July 2002 midair collision over Germany. Makulov's predecessor in the post, Boris Chelyshev, was moved to Moscow to the Russian Department of Construction and Housing and Municipal-Services Sector.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova