Business in Brief

Putin Approves Oil Duty



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday approved raising the export duty on crude oil to $495.50 per metric ton from Aug. 1, Interfax reported, citing the government's press service.

The current duty is $398.10 per ton. Russia revises its export taxes on crude and oil products every two months based on the previous two-month average price for Urals, the country's benchmark export blend. (Bloomberg)




Mosenergo's New Unit



Mosenergo, the main power utility for Moscow, said Tuesday that it set up a unit that will offer a one-stop-shop service to companies seeking to add new generation capacity.

The new TEK Mosenergo unit will take on Mosenergo's engineering, equipment-buying and construction services and staff, and offer turn-key power-plant building services, it said. (Bloomberg)




Rosselkhozbank's Capital



State lender Rosselkhozbank had its capital boosted by 31.5 billion rubles ($1.36 billion) to make new farming industry loans as the government seeks to increase grain production.

The Federation Council approved the increase earlier this month, chairman Yury Trushin said Tuesday. The bank's capital was 51.9 billion rubles July 1. (Bloomberg)




Rosneft Offer to Gazprom



Rosneft invited Gazprom to develop projects off Sakhalin, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing sources in the two companies.

Rosneft offered Gazprom joint development of the Veninsky block at Sakhalin-3 as well as participation in the Sakhalin-4 and Sakhalin-5 projects, the news service said. (Bloomberg)




MTS to Fight Tax Claim



The Federal Tax Service has said Mobile TeleSystems, the country's largest mobile phone operator, owes it an extra 1.13 billion rubles ($48.68 million) in back taxes and penalties, the company said Tuesday.

MTS said it would protest the claims, which were levied on its operations in 2005-2006. It did not expect any significant negative financial impact. The carrier successfully fought a similar claim of 1.28 billion rubles for 2003-2004. (Reuters)




LSR Forms Joint Venture



LSR Group said Tuesday that it formed a joint venture to build a business center on a five-hectare site in northern Moscow.

LSR's Mosstroirekonstruktsia will fund the design and construction of the $800 million project in exchange for a majority stake in the venture, the company said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Razgulyai will spend the $295.2 million raised in a secondary public stock offering to repay debt and buy land and agricultural machinery, the company said Tuesday. (Reuters)

Atomstroiexport, the country's nuclear-reactor building company, said Tuesday that it agreed to merge with engineering firm Atomenergoproyect to make the country's atomic power plants more competitive abroad. (Bloomberg)

Government officials plan to review funding for a bypass around a widening sinkhole near an Uralkali potash mine that threatens a rail link carrying 20 million tons of cargo per year, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)