Russia Holds Rates As Nabiullina Looks Past Slowing Economy

Russia on Friday thrashed Luxembourg 4-0 but Azerbaijan, coached by German Berti Vogts and playing in front of fervent support at home in Baku, will be a different prospect. “After the match with Luxembourg, Capello reminded us that we still hadn’t clinched a place in the finals,” midfielder Dmitry Kombarov said. “He said that we need to keep ourselves focused just a little bit more. And we’re ready to fight for the win in Baku.” Vogts won the World Cup as a player in 1974 and the European championship as manager of Germany in 1996. And according to local press reports Azerbaijan’s football federation have promised record $127,000 bonuses for every team player if they beat Russia. Russia will be without left winger Yury Zhirkov, who suffered a hip injury on Friday. But Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Roman Shirokov , who captained Russia against Luxembourg, said all of his teammates understood the importance of the upcoming match. “Azerbaijan are unbeaten at home in this campaign. They’re skilled opponents and are seriously motivated,” he said. “But we are set to get a win there. We will play not for the bonuses but for our country.” Capello, who took over the Russia squad in July 2012, has managed to record an impressive four-match winning streak in the 2014 World Cup campaign, beating 2-0 Northern Ireland, 4-0 Israel, 1-0 Portugal and 1-0 Azerbaijan for a perfect record from the start. This impressive run was followed by two 1-0 defeats at the hands of Portugal and Northern Ireland, but three consecutive wins over Luxembourg 4-1 and 4-0 and Israel 3-1 left Russia top of their group ahead of the curtain-closing qualifier with Azerbaijan. Russia met Azerbaijan twice in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

With the U.S.s borrowing authority set to lapse Oct. 17, Senate leaders in Washington sought a pact to avert a default and re-open the government. Russias central bank has acted quite conservatively even in better times, Sergey Kucherenko, who manages about $50 million in Russian equities at OAO Nomos Bank in Moscow, said by phone. I expect it to keep rates unchanged amid the U.S. budget turmoil. Above-target inflation has prevented Russias central bank from countering a slowdown in economic growth to the weakest pace since a 2009 contraction. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was negotiating with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner broke down. Alrosa Price Crude, Russias main export earner, traded up 0.4 percent at $102.39 in New York. Russia receives about half of its revenue from the oil and natural gas industries. Sberbank dropped 0.8 percent to $12.65 in London and Magnit retreated 1.2 percent to $62.50. OAO Alrosa shares jumped 1.7 percent to 35.40 rubles, the most on the Micex.

In Russia’s Sochi, gays oppose boycott calls

Performers pose for a photo backstage before their show in a gay club in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on September 28, 2013

Russias ruble-denominated bonds due in 2027 fell, increasing the yield two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 7.69 percent. Easing Ahead The three-month MosPrime rate, which the largest Moscow banks say they charge one another, may decline 17 basis points over the next three months, according to forward-rate agreements tracked by Bloomberg. Thats down from as much as 56 basis points on Aug. 8. The central bank last month increased its inflation (RUCPIYOY) target for next year to 5 percent, plus or minus 1.5 percentage points, from 4.5 percent, after the government backtracked on a plan to halt all price increases for utilities and monopolies like OAO Russian Railways. Still-elevated expectations for future inflation must come down, even as the pace of economic growth remains low, Nabiullina told lawmakers Oct. 8. For Russians, inflation is one of the biggest concerns along with housing and utilities, according to a poll published Sept. 18 by the state-run All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion . Inflation Goals The dynamics of the key macroeconomic indicators suggested that the pace of economic growth remained low, the regulator said in its statement. More pronounced downward trends in inflation expectations need to be formed to ensure the achievement of inflation goals in the medium term. Bank Rossii is signaling more willingness to reduce rates than after last months meeting, according to Alexander Morozov , Moscow-based chief economist for Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Baltic states at HSBC Holdings Plc.

Russia plans state-backed Web search engine named after Sputnik: report

Credit: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov MOSCOW | Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:58am EDT MOSCOW (Reuters) – State-controlled telecoms group Rostelecom plans an internet search engine named after the Sputnik satellite, Vedomosti newspaper said on Friday, though analysts said the aim to muscle into the highly competitive Russian market was doomed. The government has made moves to boost control over the Internet, but a state-backed search engine, to be called www.sputnik.ru, would face leading search engine company Yandex, with 62 percent of the market, U.S. giant Google and Mail.Ru. “Search engines are a completely different area from the telecoms service business in which Rostelecom is involved,” said VTB analyst Ivan Kim in a research note. “With its lack of expertise, the venture is unlikely to meet with success.” Rostelecom did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the project, to be named after the first man-made satellite, which was launched in October 1957. The new search engine may have to be used by state institutions as a default tool, said Vedomosti, citing sources at Rostelecom and other Internet companies in its report. It said the project had cost $20 million so far. Kim said the plan looked like it was imposed on Rostelecom by the state and would most likely be a cash drain. Russia, with the largest internet audience in Europe, has increased state control over the Web, including launching a black list of sites distributing content such as child pornography, but which critics said could boost censorship. Rostelecom is trying to hire developers from rivals to work on the search engine project, expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2014, Vedomosti added. The project has so far indexed about half of the Russian Internet, it said.

He thinks the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should have instead demanded that Russia cancel its controversial law on homosexuality and threaten to move the event unless Moscow complies. But IOC Coordination Commission chairman, Jean-Claude Killy, last month said the organisation had no business weighing in on laws in host countries as long as the Olympic Charter is respected. Putin in August also signed a vaguely-worded decree banning any protests in Sochi during the Olympics unless they were related to the Games. Asked by AFP last month if Russia would allow a gay rights rally, the Sochi Organising Committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko said that gay rallies could theoretically be judged as “related” to the Games, but would still require the city’s permission. “If the city authorities find it possible, then (activists) won’t have any problems,” he said. He also promised that organisers would respect all visitors and not interfere in their private lives. ‘What is there to be joyful about?’ Yet it remains uncertain if Sochi, one of European Russia’s southernmost cities and close to the traditionally conservative societies of the Caucasus mountains, is ready for gay pride events. Sochi is more homophobic than Moscow, said Slavsky. People dance in a gay club in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on October 3, 2013 (AFP Photo/M “My understanding is that a parade is joyful,” he said. “What is there to be joyful about? Homophobia, murders and suicides?” In June Slavsky plucked up the courage to hold a small gay rights picket in Sochi with a handful of friends. The police did not interfere — but only because they did not understand the slogans on placards written in English, he said. He said he had also tried to establish a gay rights organisation, but gave up after meeting no support from the gay community. While Tanichev said he hopes foreign athletes will speak up for gay rights during the Olympics, he said he would not participate in any gay rights rallies or parades himself. “Nobody will go to gay pride parades, and nobody needs these parades today,” Tanichev said. A file picture taken on May 25, 2013, shows a Russian gay rights activist holding a poster reading ” He added that his club polled guests and found that 99 percent said they opposed such events as “provocative”.