Business in Brief

Ruble Won't 'Float'



The country won't let the ruble float freely and may continue to widen the band in which the currency is allowed to trade, Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said on Saturday.

"We will not allow it to float freely and we won't scrap the limits," Ulyukayev said in an interview with the radio station Ekho Moskvy posted on its web site. "We have widened the boundaries and apparently, in some way, will continue to widen them to make it a quasi-free flotation." (Bloomberg)




Moody's Cuts Outlook



Russia's credit-rating outlook was lowered on Friday to "stable" from "positive" by Moody's Investors Service, which cited "ineffective" efforts to shore up the financial system.

The attempts to let the ruble gradually devalue "without amplifying banking and financial stability" have been "ineffective and extremely costly for official reserves," Moody's Vice President Jonathan Schiffer said on Friday. (Bloomberg)




Foreign Car Tariffs Protested



About 6000 people gathered to protest a bill signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Dec. 10 to temporarily raise tariffs on foreign cars in order to help support Russian car-makers, Agence France Presse reported.

About 200,000 people are employed in the import, selling and servicing of foreign cars in and around Vladivostok, a protest organizer said. (Bloomberg)




RenCap in $40Bln Buyback



Renaissance Securities Trading, a unit of Renaissance Capital, plans to spend as much as $40 million to buy back its outstanding dollar bonds.

Renaissance is offering bondholders a maximum 60 percent of face value and unpaid interest to buy back some of its $250 million of 8.75 percent notes maturing in 2009 in a so-called Dutch auction, firm said on Friday. (Bloomberg)




China Talks to Continue



Russia and China plan to continue talks on oil supplies for loans after a round of negotiations this week failed to produce an agreement, Transneft said on Friday.

Representatives of China Development Bank and China National Petroleum Corp. brought the "same proposal as they did in previous talks in Beijing," to Moscow, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for Transneft, said.

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said in October that China could provide the country's oil companies with a "considerable" loan as the countries expand energy cooperation. Transneft is building a pipeline from eastern Siberia to the Pacific Ocean and may extend a spur from the crude link to China. (Bloomberg)




Sakhalin Terminal Active



Gazprom-owned Sakhalin Energy began shipping oil out of its new year-round export terminal on Sakhalin Island's Aniva Bay on Friday, after completing the 800-kilometer long TransSakhalin oil-and-gas pipeline system. (MT)




Renault Shutters Plant



Renault, France's second-largest automaker, halted production of Logan sedans at its Moscow plant for a month because of declining demand, RIA-Novosti reported, citing a company official. (Bloomberg)