Business in Brief

H1 Trade Surplus Estimates

The country's trade surplus probably grew 75 percent in the first half from a year earlier as the world's biggest energy exporter benefited from high oil prices, the Central Bank said Friday.

The surplus reached $104.8 billion, compared with $59.9 billion in the first half of last year, according to preliminary estimates. Exports probably increased to $240 billion from $155.4 billion, it said. (Bloomberg)

$12.3Bln H1 Capital Inflow

Russia received $12.3 billion of net capital inflows, a broad measure of money entering the country, in the first half, the Central Bank said Friday.

Inflows resumed in the second quarter of the year, reaching $35.7 billion, after the nation registered a net outflow of $23.3 billion in the first three months of the year, the bank said. (Bloomberg)

RusAl on Norilsk Chairman

United Company RusAl, trying to gain control of Norilsk Nickel, on Friday named its candidate to lead Norilsk's board.

Guy de Selliers, an independent director of Norilsk, is the "best" candidate because he has previous experience with the company, RusAl spokeswoman Vera Kurochkina said. (Bloomberg)

UralSib Borrows $313M

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- UralSib Bank, the country's biggest privately owned lender, borrowed $313 million from a group of 32 banks for its trade finance business and said it might raise another $500 million from a bond sale later this year.

UralSib's 364-day loan, raised from an original size of $150 million due to investor demand, pays 1 percentage point over the London interbank offered rate, the lead managers said in a statement Sunday. (Bloomberg)

Train Maker Eying Russia

AIX-EN-PROVENCE -- Alstom, the world's largest train maker, said Saturday that it was seeking acquisitions in Russia.

"We have targets and partners we want to talk to in Russia," said Philippe Mellier, the head of Alstom Transport. "We hope to have good news … in the next few months." (Bloomberg)

End to Baltic Export Routes

Russia must stop exports of oil products and coal via its Baltic Sea neighbors by 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Saturday, Interfax reported.

Russia exports around 80 percent of its oil products through ports in the Baltic states, Transportation Minister Igor Levitin said, Interfax reported. The country will have enough capacity by 2015 to send all exports from its own terminals, Levitin said. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Friday that the state planned further changes to the Tax Code to stimulate the oil industry. (Bloomberg)

The State Duma approved tax cuts for oil producers in a third and final reading on Friday, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

State Duma Deputy Alexander Popov has dropped his proposal to delay by three years restrictions on gambling in the country, Vedomosti reported Friday. (Bloomberg)

Sibir Energy and Gazprom Neft will transfer their shares in the Moscow Oil Refinery to a new Dutch holding company as part of a control-sharing agreement. (Bloomberg)