Business in Brief

June Inflation at May's Pace

June inflation rate was unchanged from May, when it reached the highest in 5 1/2 years, hindering government plans to slow price growth this year.

The rate remained at 15.1 percent, the State Statistics Service said by e-mail Monday, less than the 15.2 percent median estimate of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Consumer prices rose 1 percent in the month, compared with 1.4 percent in May. (Bloomberg)

United Seeks Route's Delay

United Airlines, the world's second-largest carrier, has asked U.S. regulators to let it delay the start of flights between Washington and Moscow by five months because of rising fuel costs.

The UAL Corp. unit asked for approval to postpone the service until March 29, 2009, a spokesman for Chicago-based United said Monday. United originally planned to begin the flights from Washington's Dulles Airport Oct. 26. (Bloomberg)

OGK-6 Output Up 30%

Gazprom-controlled OGK-6 increased first-half output by 30 percent to 18.7 billion kilowatt hours.

The biggest surge in output was at the Krasnoyarskaya GRES-2 power plant and the Ryazanskaya GRES, the company said Monday. OGK-6 has plants in northwestern and southern Russia, and west Siberia. (Bloomberg)

Trade Surplus Nears $90Bln

The country's trade surplus expanded 51 percent in the first five months of the year from the same period in 2007 as the economy benefited from high oil prices.

The surplus reached $89.9 billion, compared with $59.6 billion in January through May of 2007, the Federal Customs Service said Monday. Exports increased 50 percent to $191.1 billion, while imports grew 59 percent to $101.1 billion, it said.

The Central Bank, which uses a different methodology, is scheduled to release official trade statistics later this week. (Bloomberg)

Naftogaz Said to Owe $2Bln

Naftogaz Ukrainy, Ukraine's state-run oil and gas company, owes more than $2 billion to RosUkrEnergo, a Swiss-based trader, RosUkrEnergo spokesman Andriy Knutov said, Interfax reported Monday.

The debt includes arrears from previous years for gas supplied to Ukraine from Russia and from Central Asia in 2008, Knutov said, Interfax reported. Naftogaz also failed to pay for gas received in June this year, the agency said. (Bloomberg)

Vester Plans New Stores

Vester Group, a Kaliningrad-based supermarket chain planning to offer a stake to investors this year, aims to almost triple revenue this year by increasing its selling area.

Sales may rise to $1.1 billion in 2008 from $420 million in 2007, the company said Monday. The retailer operates 52 outlets in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Comstar United Telesystems, owned by billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov, acquired the firm that owns Ural Telephone Company for 1.02 billion rubles ($43 million). (Bloomberg)

Russky Standart Vodka on Monday said chief executive Carlo Radicati left his post. (Bloomberg)

RusHydro said Monday that it might list depositary receipts in Asia in addition to London. (Bloomberg)