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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

TNK-Texaco Venture


KIEV Tyumen Oil Co., or TNK, and U.S. oil major Texaco signed a memorandum Thursday to set up a $170 million joint venture to build and service petrol stations in Russia and Ukraine.

The two companies plan to build 60 petrol stations in Moscow and its suburbs and 30 similar stations in Kiev in the next two years, a joint press release said.

The news broke late Thursday evening, and few other details were available at press time.

But if TNK and Texaco go forward with their plans, it would mark one of the largest business deals of the year to hit Moscow.

Chernogorneft Talks

The Moscow Times

Spokesmen for oil companies Tyumen Oil Co., or TNK, and Sidanko said Thursday their firms have been discussing the ownership of the western Siberian production unit Chernogorneft, but have refused to comment on the results.

The firms agreed in December 1999 that TNK would return the unit to Sidanko in exchange for TNK receiving shares in Sidanko.

Chernogorneft, Sidankos core production unit was stripped of its assets after TNK bought the company for $176 million in a bankruptcy auction last year

The deal was to come in effect in mid-October but was stalled as TNK feared the share emission proposed by Sidanko shareholder Interros could be contested in court.

Consensus on Auditor

The Moscow Times

Two State Duma committees have agreed that Deloitte & Touche should audit the Central Bank accounts for 2000, Prime-Tass reported Thursday.

The budget committee and the banking committee also recommended hiring local auditor Financial and Banking Consulting Services as a subcontractor.

Duma members, who are scheduled to vote on an auditor this month, can ignore the recommendations.

Reserves Rise $500M

The Moscow Times

The nations gold and hard-currency reserves rose by $400 million to a record $26.5 billion in the week ending Nov. 17, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The banks reserves have been rising steadily throughout 2000, thanks in part to national earnings from high oil prices.

Retail Prices Rise

The Moscow Times

Consumer prices grew 20 percent to 21 percent in the first 10 months of this year, while industrial manufacturers prices grew 33 percent to 34 percent, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said in a report, Interfax reported.

Industrial production grew 9.2 percent in January to October, agricultural output was up 4 percent, while total investment in principal assets increased by 19.5 percent, the ministry reported.

Incomes grew 9 percent while the unemployment rate is predicted to be 10.1 percent at the end of December. The officially registered figure is 1.5 percent.

Yukos Seeks $300M

The Moscow Times

Yukos, the nations No. 2 oil firm, plans to spend $1 billion of its own money on capital investment next year, "and would like to attract $300 million from outside," the Financial Times reported Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky as saying in an interview in London on Wednesday.

Khodorkovsky said Yukos options include a return to commercial banks that lent it a $50 million syndicated loan earlier this year, or an approach to government institutions such as the U.S. Export-Import bank, the newspaper said.

Debt Restructure Offer


Russia has offered to restructure Soviet foreign trade companies debt into Eurobonds under a scheme similar to a restructuring with the London Club of creditors, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

"The proposal was consistent with the treatment of Late Joining Creditors under Vneshekonombanks 1997 London Club restructuring," the ministry said in a statement.

It said Russia had offered to exchange the debt for dollar-denominated Eurobonds dated 2007 to 2030, 2006 and 2010. The debt, taken out by Soviet trade companies without government guarantees, is estimated at $4 billion.

GDP Growth 7.3%


The nations real gross domestic product grew 7.3 percent and industrial output 9.7 percent in the first nine months of 2000 compared with the same period last year, the government said Thursday.

Increasing domestic demand has also contributed to the economys growth, the government said in a statement.

The government also revised the federal budget surplus for the first nine months of 2000 up to 110.6 billion rubles ($3.97 billion), or 2.3 percent of GDP, from a previously reported 106 billion rubles. The primary surplus, which does not include debt servicing, was 5.3 percent of GDP.

Ukraine Auction Fails


KIEV Ukraines government said Wednesday it had failed to sell its remaining 10 percent stake in the Nikolayev Alumina Plant because bids were too low.

A spokeswoman for the State Property Fund said the government had decided to hold a new auction for the plant, which is the countrys only alumina producer, next Wednesday after bidders rejected the starting price of 0.55 hryvnas ($0.10) per share, but would not lower the starting price.

Ukraine Aluminum, a company linked to Russian Aluminum, purchased 10 percent in Nikolayev last week. Its total holding is 45 percent of the plant.

Scrap Bill Passed


The State Duma on Wednesday passed in a third reading a bill on the suspension of nonferrous scrap metal exports.

The draft aims to stop exports of scrap, apart from those defined as international agreements or intergovernmental deals. It is designed to put an end to large-scale theft of equipment containing nonferrous metals such as copper.

The bill must now be endorsed by the Federation Council before being signed by the president into law.