Business in Brief

Putin Hurries Asia Pipeline



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Sunday that the country's first oil pipeline to Asia must be completed without delay, just hours before European Union leaders were to meet to discuss Georgia.

RIA-Novosti said Putin had signed an order "on speeding the building of phases of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean [pipeline] and not allowing delays," while on a visit to the Far East.

He was speaking in Kozmino, an oil terminal being built on the Pacific coast to take the oil from the pipeline, which is being built by Transneft. (Reuters)




X5's Q2 Profit Jumps



X5 Retail Group, Russia's largest supermarket chain, said Friday that second-quarter profit rose more than fivefold as it opened stores and cut costs. The retailer lifted its annual sales forecast after buying Karusel hypermarkets.

Net income climbed to $74.4 million in April through June, from $14 million a year earlier, the company said. Sales at stores open at least a year will gain more than 20 percent excluding currency swings, the company said, up from a previous forecast of 17 percent. (Bloomberg)




Brazilian Beef Ban Ended



SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Russia said Friday that it would resume purchases of beef from Brazil's Goias state, two months after imports of the meat were suspended because of a disease outbreak.

Goias, which accounts for 25 percent of Brazil's beef sales to Russia, will resume shipments Monday from all cities except Cavalcante, where a case of vesicular stomatitis was found in June, the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry said. (Bloomberg)




Economy Up 7.9% in 2008



Russia's economy expanded 7.9 percent in the first seven months of the year, the Economic Development Ministry said Friday in a first estimate of growth for the period.

Growth was the same as a year earlier, the ministry said in a report. Gross domestic product grew 6.9 percent in July, less than the 8.7 percent gain in the same month last year, it said. (Bloomberg)




Meeting on Wealth Funds



WASHINGTON -- A meeting of the world's sovereign wealth funds in Chile this week hopes to reach an understanding on principles that will guide investment practices of the state-owned funds, the International Monetary Fund said Saturday.

The gathering of 26 wealth funds in Santiago on Monday and Tuesday is the third this year of a working group looking to develop voluntary best practices for the growing number of sovereign wealth funds that now control assets worth trillions of dollars. (Reuters)




For the Record



Belon, a Russian coal producer and metals trader part-owned by Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, said Friday that it began production at its Kostromovskaya mine, which will boost coking coal output by more than 50 percent. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine's Anti-Monopoly Committee said Friday that it fined the country's second-biggest refinery, UkrTatNafta, 300,000 hryvnas after finding it guilty of overcharging for fuel. (Bloomberg)

Priargunsk Plant, the biggest unit of state mining company Uranium Holding ARMZ, said Friday that it planned to sell new shares to raise money for expansion. (Bloomberg)