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The FAS fears that the consolidation of the fleet of wagons may lead to an increase in prices In this regard, the FAS has requested the largest operators to provide it with data for 2014 and 2015 on the fleet of wagons, cargo transportation, average rates for the provision of a freight car (Vedomosti has a copy of the request). The operators must also disclose the pricing principles for their services, follows from the request. Employees of the operating companies confirm receipt of the request.

The FAS has concerns about plans to consolidate the fleet, which is being discussed by operators and leasing companies. Thus, the State Transport and Leasing Company (STLC) has developed a "Hurricane" plan, which implies the concentration of about 200-250 thousand gondola cars belonging to leasing companies controlled by the state at one structure: "VEB-leasing", "VTB Leasing", "Sberbank Leasing", "Gazprombank Leasing", "Transfin- m" (controlled by NPF "Welfare"). Then it is proposed to lease the wagons to a major player - the Federal Freight Company (FGC, a 100% "daughter" of Russian Railways), the First Freight Company (PGC, owned by Vladimir Lisin), Neftetranservice or another operator. That, in turn, will have to write off about 100 thousand units of the old fleet and raise the rate for providing a car from the current 550-600 rubles. per day up to the level stipulated in the price list 10-01 (about 830 rubles in 2016). FGC, which has been managing the UVZ-Logistics park since March (until now it was managed by the Russian Railways Branded Transport Service Center) and planning to lease it, thus became the largest operator of gondola cars.

This may also put pressure on prices, the FAS fears. In this regard, the representative of the FAS emphasizes that if there is a risk of violation of antimonopoly legislation as a result of abuse of a dominant position, including collective, antitrust regulation measures may be taken up to the introduction of regulation of the wagon component at the level of current profitability plus 7.5% (the level of indexing of the tariff component). According to the STLC, the tariff for the implementation of the Hurricane plan will not exceed the inflation forecast. Thus, the transport component, for example, in the cost of coal on FOB terms does not exceed 40% (3% is the Russian Railways tariff, 5% is the operator's rate).

With an increase in profitability up to 800 rubles, the share of the operator's rate in the final price of the product will be 8%. But, on the other hand, the current level of profitability of most of the fleet is non-innovative gondola cars (about 600 rubles. without VAT per day) allows you to finance current, depot and capital repairs, etc. (in total, this is from 250 to 400 rubles. depending on the age of the car), but does not allow operators to purchase rolling stock on lease or using credit funds or to fully service loans previously attracted for the purchase of rolling stock, explains Mikhail Burmistrov, CEO of Infoline Analytics. 

If the rate on the use of gondola cars remains at the current level, the industry will lose sources for updating the fleet, which may subsequently lead to a shortage of rolling stock on the network, it is emphasized in the proposals of the FGC sent to the Consumer Council of Russian Railways. In order for the purchase of gondola cars to be paid off, according to FGC calculations, the yield should be about 790 rubles / day. The representative of the PGK agrees with this. But the FAS has calculated that an increase in the wagon component to 800-900 rubles per gondola car per day will lead to an additional load on shippers of 50-60 billion rubles.

Transportation of coal in this case will rise in price by 19%, ore - by 17%, cement - by 18%, crushed stone - by 22%. The additional profit, the FAS fears, will go not to replenish the fleet, but to repay existing debts of operators or dividend payments. The FAS believes that it is necessary to maintain the maximum increase in the final cost of transportation for the shipper at the level of 7.5%. According to the representative of SUEK, the consolidation of the gondola car fleet with the prospect of an increase in rates up to 900 rubles/ day will lead to an increase in the wagon component for all shippers by 70%, and the full tariff by 21%. 

This increase in the cost of transportation will be imposed on the 9% indexation of the Russian Railways tariff in 2016. As a result, the total costs of rail transportation for all goods will increase by 30% in 2016, the representative of SUEK summarizes. It can be assumed that for most cargoes, especially high-yield ones, this will lead to a further decrease in loading and income of Russian Railways, the interlocutor of Vedomosti admits.