We may have dubbed Russia's historic, and 30 years in the making until John Kerry et al accelerated it, gas deal as the "Holy Grail" of New Normal trade arrangements, and it turns out we weren't alone in evaluating the strategic implications of this epic Russian, and Chinese, pivot toward each other. Moments ago, Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, shareholder of Gazprom competitor Novatek, chairman of the Russian-Chinese Business Council, and former co-owner of commodities trading giant Gunvor, said that "Economically it’s the most important event of the past decade."
Some of Timchenko's other soundbites via Bloomberg:
- "The contract allows a balance between Europe and China”
- "There will probably come a time when Gazprom’s monopoly won’t be a monopoly"
More importantly, now that the ground has been set, the Gazprom-CNPC deal is just the beginning:
- Timchenko says also seeking to expand Yamal LNG, Sibur business with Asia; Volga Group is looking at China projects
- China Harbour Engineering signed memorandum on Kolmar coal mining, Sakhatrans port projects in Russia’s Far East; may form JV
- Chinese propose participation in domestic pipeline projects, LNG terminals to Timchenko, as Volga Group owner and Novatek board member
"We have the desire” to invest in China, no specific talks for now
- Volga has water reservoir in China, doesn’t rule out investing in development for bottled water
It may be ironic, but quite soon China could participate in building a bridge between Russia and its latest territorial property: Crimea.
- USK Most, co-owned by Volga, plans to bid in tender to build bridge between Russia, Crimean Peninsula through Kerch strait together w/ Mostotrest, co-owned by Arkady Rotenberg, also on U.S. sanctions list
- Says doesn’t rule out China cos. participating in bridge project
Finally, here is why the next company to feel the "costs" of US sanctions will not be Russian, but America's own Caterpillar:
- If sanctions tightened, Volga Group construction units may seek equipment suppliers in China to replace U.S. cos. such as Caterpillar
Which of course would be even more bullish for CAT as it would force management to lever up even more and to buyback a record amount of its own shares just to give the impression that collapsing revenue and future business prospects is the most bullish thing that could happen to the industrial giant.