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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 20, 2003

20 August 2003
Tatneft Ready To Take Over Turkish Petrochemical Holding...
Tatneft General Director Shefeget Takhautdinov told a press conference in Elmet, Tatarstan, on 19 August that his company was ready to take over the state's 67 percent stake in the Turkish Tupras holding, which unites four oil refineries with annual processing capacity of 27 million tons. The price is currently being discussed, as Tatneft is resuming its oil supplies to Tupras. According to the contract signed in July, this year Tupras is to purchase 3.4 million tons of Tatar oil. The annual turnover of the Turkish holding is reported at $10.7 billion, with processing of 24 million tons.

...And Resume Work In Iraq
Takhautdinov also said during the same press conference that Tatneft expects to resume operations in Iraq "after the situation settles down" in that country, "Vremya i dengi" reported on 20 August. The company had signed two contracts for drilling 45 and 33 oil wells with the previous Iraqi government and managed to drill one before the start of combat operations.

Tatar Grain Producers Have High Hopes This Year
Tatar Deputy Agriculture Minister Tahir Khediev told reporters on 20 August that 1.2 million tons of grain (or 28 percent of the estimated total crop) have already been harvested in the republic, the second-highest result in Russia. He said that this year's grain market would be favorable for Tatarstan, because of the strong demand coming from the drought-stricken Ukraine and some regions in Russia. However, Ukraine is reportedly interested in buying Tatar grain at about $100 per ton, while Tatarstan's State Foodstuffs Corporation offers the farmers $120 per ton.

Kazan Aircraft Plant Seals Major Deal With Omsk Airlines
On 19 August, the first day of the Moscow International Air Show, Kazan's Gorbunov aircraft plant signed a contract to sell four Tu-214 airliners to Russia's Omsk Airlines for some 4 billion rubles ($133 million) in 2005-06, Tatarstan's governmental press service reported the same day.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Blackouts Prove Effective Against Nonpayments Of Electricity
Bashkortostan's electricity consumers managed to pay off 16 percent of their dues in the last two weeks, reducing the total debt to 3.86 billion rubles ($128.6 million), Rosbalt reported on 19 August. The payback was reportedly motivated by the power blackouts imposed on major debtor enterprises in July and August. Agricultural industries are reportedly responsible for the major 25 percent share of the debt.

Wage Arrears Resume Growth...
Wage arrears to industrial workers in Bashkortostan's capital Ufa have increased by 6 percent compared to early 2003, Rosbalt reported on 19 August. The workers are owed 190 million rubles ($6.3 million). Forty-nine percent of the debt is attributed to construction companies, 31 percent to machine industries, and 16 percent to transport companies. In most of the cases, the companies' management have put the blame on customers' untimely payments.

...As Ineffective Managers Offered Substantial Punishments For Allowing It
Ufa mayor Pavel Kachkaev ordered the creation of a coordinating board for reducing the back wages, Bashinform reported on 19 August. Kachkaev will personally chair the new body, which is to consider the cases of nonpayment and disqualify top managers of state-owned debtor enterprises. The guilty officials will be punished with up to a three-year ban on working in management positions.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi