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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$140Bln Capital Flight

The Moscow Times

More than $140 billion was moved abroad from Russia between 1991 and 1999, Interfax quoted the State Duma’s corruption-fighting commission chairman, Nikolai Kovalyov, as saying in an interview published in the Vek newspaper Friday.

He quoted the Institute of International Finance that incorporates 270 Western banks, broker offices, investment funds and other financial officials, as his source.

"In 1999 alone, $20 billion left Russia. Institute experts believe that the same amount may flee Russia in 2000," Kovalyov said.

Yushchenko Hails Deal

The Associated Press

KIEV — Ukraine’s prime minister, Viktor Yushchenko, on Saturday praised an agreement with Russia that restructured Ukrainian gas debts for 10 years, removing a major irritant in bilateral ties.

"This was an extremely intellectual battle on one of the problem sectors — the gas sector," Yushchenko said at a news conference.

Under the agreement, Russia will grant Ukraine a low-interest, 10-year deferment on its gas debt and an eight- to 10-year break on payments for half of its future gas supplies on the condition it pays for the rest in cash and stops siphoning off Russian gas.

The amount of the current debt was not specified in a memorandum on the agreement, due to be signed by Dec. 15, Yushchenko said.

Kiev Sees 25% Inflation

The Associated Press

KIEV — The Ukrainian government expects annual inflation this year will significantly exceed its previous forecast of 15.9 percent but will not pass 25 percent, a top government official said Monday. Inflation totaled 23.3 percent in the first 10 months of 2000 and was 0.4 percent in November, down from 1.4 percent in October, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Yekhanurov said, according to Interfax.

The government forecast inflation to be from 12 percent to 15 percent next year. Last year, the government registered 19.2 percent inflation.

Banking Sector Lagging

The Moscow Times

The banking sector is lagging behind the nation’s overall reform dynamic, Prime-Tass reported Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov as saying Friday at a German-Russian forum in Berlin.

Russia has 1,400 banking institutions, "but no more than 400 to 500 of them are functioning properly," he said. As to their capitalization, not one Russian bank will stand in comparison with any German bank, Kasyanov said.

A reform of the banking sector has three basic elements: competition for all banking services, buildup of capital in the banks, and tight control over legislation governing banks.

Noga Claims $495M

The Moscow Times

Swiss company Noga has announce an updated list of claims for $495 million against Russia, the Financial Information Agency reported Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin as saying Monday.

The new list was submitted by the company at a hearing in New York at the start of November, Kolotukhin said.

In the course of the hearings "the central question was which of the parties first violated its obligations under the contracts concluded," he said.

Credit agreements with Noga were signed in 1991 through 1992 under which the company provided Russia with foodstuffs and consumer goods, which Russia paid for in oil.

To recover the debt, Noga has this year taken a series of actions, including having the accounts of the Russian Embassy in Paris frozen and temporarily seizing the sailing ship Sedov.

Kodak Wins Web Suit

The Moscow Times

The Moscow arbitration court has rejected an appeal by businessman Alexander Grundul against an Oct. 4 decision of the court in which he was forbidden from using the domain name, the AK&M news agency reported.

Lawyers for U.S. camera giant Eastman Kodak argued that Grundul was hindering the company in realizing its right to the trademark, having registered a domain name that was identical to that of the company.

Moskvich Power to Go

The Moscow Times

Power utility Mosenergo has adopted a decision to terminate supplies of fuel and electrical energy to the Moskvich car factory, Reuters reported Mosenergo as saying in a statement.

The news agency said the automaker owed the utility 302.1 million rubles ($10.8 million) as of Nov. 14.