Last week review (jan. 23-28)

Jan.23

Azerbaijan, Russia sign document on double increase in gas supplies

Gazprom and SOCAR have signed an additional agreement to double Azerbaijani gas purchases to 3 billion cubic meters in 2012. The document was signed in the presence of Azerbaijani and Russian presidents Ilham Aliyev and Dmitry Medvedev after talks in Sochi. The document was signed by the heads of the companies Rovnag Abdullaev and Alexey Miller.

Jan.24

Poland to help Azerbaijan over new securities legislation

The European Union (EU) approved a proposal of the Polish Agency for Financial Control to bring Azerbaijani legislation on to the securities market and into line with EU legislation on the institutional development for the Twinning project. The main goal of the project is to bring the supervisory and regulatory frameworks of legislation into line with advanced EU standards, as well as assist in raising awareness of securities' market participants. A contract is expected to be signed between the Polish Agency for Financial Control and the State Committee for Securities of Azerbaijan to launch the project

Conditions of receiving soviet deposits by heirs in Azerbaijan announced

The Azerbaijani government is ready to return compensations to heirs of those who died and had deposits in the Savings bank of AzSSR before Jan.1, 1992. This is envisaged by the bill on return of soviet deposits prepared by the parliamentary committee on economic policy. Heirs of those who died may get deposits after submitting all the necessary documentation, member of the economic policy committee of the Azerbaijani parliament Ali Masimli told Trend. He said it is necessary for this to present savings book, identity card of the recipient as well as document proving inheritance of the recipient and which is issued by notary as defined by the Civil Code. He said return of deposits will be held in 3 stages and will take 6 years.

Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan make progress on construction of underwater cable line

Progress has been made on the construction of the Trans-Caspian segment of fiber-optic cable line. The project will be implemented jointly by Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, in accordance with the protocol signed on the end of September 2011 in the result of the eighth session of the joint Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation held in Baku. At present, negotiations are being implemented to define the concept of this segment construction, which is an important part of the project TASIM. Underwater segment of fiber-optic cable highway will connect Siyazan (Azerbaijan) and Kinderli (Kazakhstan).

Jan.25

Azerbaijan, Serbia sign Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation

Azerbaijan and Serbia signed Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation in Baku The Agreement was signed within Serbian Economy and Regional Development Minister Neboysha Chirich's visit to Baku, Serbian Embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend on Wednesday. Serbian Economy and Regional Development Ministry's delegation was on a two-day visit to Azerbaijan. The delegation held talks at the Azerbaijani Economic Development Ministry, discussing further cooperation between business authorities of the two countries

Securities market to have coordination centre in Azerbaijan

A coordination centre led by the Baku stock exchange (BFB) for establishing closer ties with the securities market brokers has been formed. This purpose of the centre is to establish beneficial relations between brokers and state departments such as the Central Bank, the Finance ministry and the State Securities Committee. This decision was taken during a round table discussion on 'State securities - current affairs and directions of development' attended by over 20 commercial banks and professional participants of the stock exchange. Such issues as the primary state securities market, their profitability, volumes of emission, terms of circulation and auctions, operations on the secondary market including ensuring liquidity and market-maker activities, as well as development prospects in 2012 were discussed.

Baku center plan submitted for approval

The Azerbaijani State Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning has submitted a detailed plan for a Baku center to the head of executive power of the capital for approval. The work was previously agreed upon with the executive body and other state agencies. The formalities were met. It should be approved now. This plan will be a guide to the actions in the center of the city. The plan covers the period up until 2030. The plan covers an area of 1,500 hectares from the Amay shopping center to the National Flag Square and the Seaside Boulevard to Bakikhanov street.

EBRD discusses new cooperation spheres with Azerbaijan

A mission headed by Deputy Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for municipal and environmental infrastructure Lin O'Grady has arrived in Baku. EBRD specialists will meet with representatives of "Azersu", Asian Development Bank, World Bank and EBRD in the country within the two-day visit to discuss the cooperation. The current strategy covers 2011-2013. According to the bank, the main priority area for financing in subsequent years is agricultural business, rather than non-oil sector of the country. The bank increases its participation in financing key transport, energy and infrastructure projects. The EBRD has invested 1.2 billion euros in Azerbaijani economy to implement 115 projects. The current portfolio of the bank is 579.1 million euro. About 44 percent of investments were directed to Azerbaijan's energy sector, 23 percent - the corporate sector.

About 70 projects were implemented in the financial sector.

Jan.26

Azerbaijani President meets OMV's CEO

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday met Chief Executive Officer of the Austrian OMV AG company Gerhard Roiss in Davos.

During the meeting, they discussed cooperation between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan and OMV AG, as well as prospects of the Nabucco gas pipeline project.

IDB discusses prospects for cooperation with Azerbaijan in energy sector

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is discussing opportunities for greater cooperation in the energy sector with Azerbaijani government. The mission of the IDB leading by the acting head of energy department Mugabil Hussein was in Baku from Jan. 23 to Jan. 25. The mission was provided with information on the energy sector during the visit. Experts get acquainted with the bank's current situation in the energy sector, were discussing the possibilities and perspectives of cooperation. The IDB implements two projects in the energy sector of the country - the reconstruction of phase II of Mingachevir hydroelectric power plant and the construction of the 800-megawatt station Cenub (near Ali Bayramli thermal power plants). The IDB allocated 134.4 million euros to the construction of 800-megawatt Cenub station. Bank lending granted for a period of 17 years with a grace period of two years.

Jan.27

Azerbaijani, UK educational institutions agree to grant diplomas

An agreement with the University of Heriot Vatt in the UK on granting two diplomas to the graduates of the Baku oil high school has been conducted.

A delegation headed by SOCAR VP Badalov Badal visited Heriot Vatt University of Edinburgh and Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen to establish cooperation.

A memorandum of cooperation was signed on the development of training programs covering the bachelor's, master's and doctor's levels in oil and gas and chemical engineering.

Future cooperation was also discussed with Robert Gordon University

Azerbaijani President meets Deutsche Bank`s CEO

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today met Deutsche Bank`s CEO for Central and Eastern Europe Peter Tils and Member of the Management Board Juergen Fitschen in Davos. They described Azerbaijan as the region`s leader, and stressed the importance of ongoing economic development processes in the country.
They also explored prospects for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Deutsche Bank.

Azerbaijan prepares drafts of state programs for development of agricultural sector

Azerbaijani Agriculture Ministry has prepared a draft state program on development of tea-growing and cotton growing, Head of Department for Control over the production and processing of crop products at the Ministry Sabir Veliyev told Trend. Development Program of tea growing and cotton growing have been developed and submitted to the government in 2011. We are waiting for a response from the government, he said. It is planned to create the necessary infrastructure, to build factories in south regions of the country, to take measures to support producers of tea, etc. in the frame of a program for the development of tea-growing, Veliyev said. Azerbaijan adopted a state program on development of viticulture in late 2011.

The state program on development of other sectors of agriculture can be prepared and adopted in the future if necessary, but it is not expected in 2012, Veliyev said.

Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Turkey to implement joint energy projects

Ukraine is holding an active dialogue with Azerbaijan on implementation of joint projects in energy sector, President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich told Ukrainian mass media outlets in Davos on Thursday following a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Two documents will be signed between the two countries on gas supplies to a LNG terminal and establishment of a Ukrainian-Azerbaijan company to develop the project to build the facility. It is expected that the developer of a feasibility study for Ukrainian LNG-terminal, Spanish company Socoin will complete the work soon. The cost of construction of the terminal was decreased from $1.5 billion to $1 billion

EU to assist Azerbaijan in developing certification standards for working places

Azerbaijan develops the certification standards for working places within the EU twinning project "Support for the national labour inspection service in improving occupational health and safety". At present, certification is carried out by the employers in accordance with international standards as this methodology has not been developed in Azerbaijan yet. This sphere is one of the most important within the Twinning project.

Social council established in Azerbaijan

A trilateral social council between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, the National confederation of entrepreneurs and Confederation of the country's trade unions has been established in Azerbaijan for the first time in the CIS, Minister of Labour and Social Protection Fizuli Alekberov told journalists after the 'Social cooperation: labour protection, assessment of risks and attestation of jobs' conference.

During the conference partners of the council signed a decision to establish National social council to ensure work safety and healthy working conditions under the ministry of Labour. Regulations of the council were also approved

"Issue of ensuring job safety is a global problem and Azerbaijan is not an exception in this regard. Some 2,011 people sustained industrial injury last year and 97 deaths were recorded. It creates additional social problems for the society," the minister said.

He said creation of new jobs in the country (about 100,000 jobs were created last year) increases these risks that's why problem of ensuring work safety is an important one for Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan simplifies customs clearance of cars

Azerbaijan has simplified customs clearance of vehicles imported in the country by introducing single window principle. By introducing single window principle it is possible to conduct customs clearance, state registration, keeping records, issue of certificate on state registration and state sign, granting right on ownership, use and disposal of vehicle.

Fitch assigns SOCAR's USD notes 'BBB-' rating

Fitch Ratings has assigned State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic's (SOCAR) proposed notes an expected foreign currency senior unsecured rating of 'BBB-(exp)', in line with SOCAR's Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ('BBB-'/Stable). The final rating is contingent upon the receipt of final documentation conforming materially to information already received and details regarding the amount, coupon rate and maturity. The proceeds from the notes issuance are expected to be partially used to fund the company's capex and other general corporate purposes

Moody's assigns rating to SOCAR debut Eurobond

Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a provisional (P)Ba1 rating to the upcoming debut Eurobond to be issued by State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). The outlook is stable, the agency's website reports. Moody's expects that the Eurobond issuance will total up to $500 million. The proceeds of the notes will constitute general unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of SOCAR

Azerbaijan introduces e-trade system FIFA

Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) introduces system of e-trade of FIFA to organize online-sales of tickets for football games.

Online-sales of tickets will begin within 2 months and will be available at the AFFA corporate website.

Advantage of the new system is an opportunity to buy individual tickets. Buyers will be able to choose seat at stands at their own discretion by viewing angle of visibility from all sectors of the stadium's stands.

Tickets will be paid by credit card. E-trade system of FIFA is a global one and used in many countries

Jan.28

President: Azerbaijan makes significant contribution to regional cooperation

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended The Future of Eurasia session as part of the 42nd World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. The WEF annual meeting discussed political and economic problems, problems caused by the global development

The Head of State spoke about Azerbaijan`s historical development, history of statehood based on democratic traditions, adding the first democratic republic in the East was established in Azerbaijan.

President: Oil sector revenues create opportunities to diversify Azerbaijani economy

An interactive session on Azerbaijan has been held as part of the World Economic Forum`s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the event. Moderator Borge Brende, WEF`s Managing Director, said Azerbaijan had a geographically and strategically important location. Brende hailed Azerbaijan`s development, saying the country managed to record a 9% growth in the non-oil sector despite the ongoing global crisis.

President Aliyev said the country's economy has grown 300% since 2004. President Ilham Aliyev stressed that revenues from oil sector create comprehensive opportunities for diversification of the country's economy, and it is one of the main priorities of state policy.

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