Mr Putin began the meeting by summing up the discussions at the meeting he held earlier with government ministers and officials from the Central Bank and Presidential Executive Office on economic issues. Russia is maintaining a positive economic growth trend, the President said. The national currency is growing stronger. Labour productivity is not growing as fast as would be liked, but it is nevertheless increasing by 6 percent a year. The Central Bank has succeeded in maintaining a course of improving macroeconomic indicators, including bringing down inflation. Mr Putin said he hoped that inflation would not be higher than 10 percent this year and that subsequent years would see it come down to 4–6 percent. Reducing inflation is a priority task for the government, the President said.
Mr Putin gave a high assessment of the work done by Western banks and companies on the initial public offer launched by Rosneft. At the time trading began, Rosneft was valued by the experts at around $80 billion, Mr Putin said, but within a few months the company’s value had risen by $12 billion and today stands at $92 billion.
The President noted that this is one of the world’s biggest initial public offers in the oil and gas sector. A total of 115,000 private individuals invested money in Rosneft’s securities, and this constitutes an element of stability for the company. We believe the company should operate as a public company, Mr Putin added.
Taking part in the meeting were Executive Director of Dresdner Kleinwort Herbert Walter, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley John Mack, Vice President of Petronas George Ratilal, Chairman of the Board of Morgan Stanley Rair Simonian, Chairman of the Board of Barclays Capital and member of the Rosneft Board of Directors Hans-Jorg Rudloff, UK head of JP Morgan Investment Bank William Winters, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CINOPEC Chen Tonghai, President of Rosneft Sergei Bogdanchikov, President of Alfa Bank Pyotr Aven, Chairman of the Board of Sberbank Andrei Kazmin, and also Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, Presidential Aide and Chairman of the Rosneft Board of Directors Igor Sechin.