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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 1, 1999

1 July 1999
New KamAZ Chairman Elected
A meeting of shareholders of the KamAZ auto company elected the Russian minister of economics, Andreii Shapovalyants, to be the chairman of the board of directors on 30 June. The board now includes four representatives from the Russian government, three people from KamAZ, one representative from the Chally city administration, one from the U.S. KKR company, two from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, one from the Tatar government, and one representative of Russia's Vneshtorgbank.

Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimev, attended the shareholders meeting, and said that the new board of directors was acceptable to all of KamAZ's creditors.

In a report, KamAZ General-Director Ivan Kostin said the company was facing a "disastrous financial situation" in early 1998. Kostin said that an investment loan, granted by the Republic of Tatarstan government, had let KamAZ revive monthly production to about 1000 heavy trucks in the second half of 1998. The company's reported losses in 1998 exceeded 13 billion rubles, while the total debt reached 25 billion rubles due to the dramatic drop of in the rate of the Russian ruble in August. In 1999 KamAZ directors reportedly intend to maintain the level of heavy truck production by introducing two extra-heavy truck models; they also plan to launch a joint project for bus production with the Pavlovsky automotive plant. Some 14,000 trucks and 28,000 small displacement vehicles are scheduled for production in 1999; 30 percent of production is scheduled to be exported.

Tatar Ministries Join Forces With Religious Organizations
Tatarstan's Interior ministry and Ministry of Justice signed a cooperation agreement with representatives from nine major religious organizations in Tatarstan on 30 June. The agreement said the crime situation in the republic shows that the existing state institutions are unable to adequately defend civil and human rights in the republic. Both sides said the agreement unites forces for "defending moral values" in Tatarstan's society.

Stock Auction Fails In Ufa
A republican auction on shares of Bashkortostan's joint-stock companies was aborted on 30 June. An auction for shares in Bashsantekhmontazh, Avtopribor, the Meleuz Building Materials Plant, and Ufakhimprom received no bids from potential buyers. Bashkortostan's State Property Committee said the next auction is scheduled for August.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi