MAZ and KamAZ merger postponed
Belarus believes that Belarusian automobile manufacturer MAZ and Russian KamAZ could merge into a single holding Rosbelavto on equal terms only. Russian enterprise’s capacity and capitalization is significantly higher, therefore chances of the deal closure on Belarusian terms are low.
“We have a firm agreement [with Russian President Vladimir Putin – Ed] that if we merge assets it will be 50/50 with the corresponding management. However their management [Head of Rostechnologia Sergey Chemezov – Ed] is unhappy with 50/50. They want a controlling stake and say Belarus is asking for too much. Well, good, if it is too expensive, then do not accept”, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said during June 14 meeting with the President of Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov. Simultaneously, Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus was not intending to compete with KamAZ.
“Why should the holding company, which will include a variety of companies with different market capitalization and other factors, be created on equal terms? The resent assessment of MAZ by Ernst & Young was USD 800 million and KamAZ – USD 3 billion”, Andrey Tretelnikov, an analyst with Rye, Man & Gor Securities commented on Lukashenko’s statement. He noted that MAZ’s future was dependent on the Russian market, and that the Russian authorities had wide opportunities to deny access for Belarusian manufacturer to the market: by introducing additional environmental requirements or amending utilization fees. At the same time it could be anticipated that if the deal is not closing now, in the future, if crisis occurs, the Russian government could theoretically offer assistance to Lukashenko in exchange for MAZ shares.
For reference. The JSC MAZ is among the five largest public companies in Belarus except for banks after Beltransgaz, Naftan, Mozyr Oil Refinery and Belaruskali. In 2011 the company’s sales revenues were USD 1.266 billion, net profit – USD 340.4 million. An average rate of Br 6075.94 per USD has been used for calculations (taking into account the shadow segment of the currency market and our own assessment). In 2011 the average number of employees was 22.227 workers.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.