Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

November Inflation

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Monthly inflation in November could rise to between 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent if current price trends hold, from 1.1 percent in October, the State Statistics Committee said Wednesday.

It said in a statement that inflation in the period of Nov. 13 to 19 was 0.3 percent and 0.9 percent since the start of the month. The average daily price rise was 0.045 percent, compared with 0.035 percent in October, it added.

"If the current rates of inflation in services and paid goods continue, their rise in November could be 1.3 percent to 1.5 percent," it said.

GDP Seen Over 3.5%

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said Wednesday it was unlikely Russian economic growth would be less than 3.5 percent next year.

Willem Buiter, making a presentation in Moscow of the bank's annual Transition Report on the economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, published Tuesday, said he expected oil prices for Russia next year to be at $18 to $20 per barrel.

"If we talk about $15 to $14 [per barrel of oil], it [GDP growth] could go down to 3.5 percent," he told reporters.

"I would be very surprised to see growth edging towards 3 percent, it would have to take a dramatic collapse, a lasting collapse of the oil price to do that, which I do not anticipate," he added.

The bank's current forecast for Russia in the Transition Report is for its gross domestic product to expand by 4 percent.

PMG Export Rules

MOSCOW (MT) -- Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov may sign a resolution issuing platinum group metals export quotas for 2002 before the end of this year, Prime-Tass quoted a government official as saying Wednesday.

Vladimir Rybkin, a deputy head of the state repository for precious metals and gems, Gokhran, said that a draft of the resolution had already been prepared and Gokhran intended to send it to the government next week.

Rybkin said PGM export volumes in the draft were the same as in 2001, but did not supply any figures.

In Russia, all data referring to production and sales of PGMs, used in the car industry and in jewelry, are a state secret.

Under the new rules of PGM trade, which became effective last August, quotas will now be set by a government resolution. Rybkin said quotas on palladium exports will be issued to the Central Bank and Gokhran.

83M Ton Harvest

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia harvested 83 million tons of grain by clean weight this year, up from 65.4 million tons last year, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev was quoted as saying Wednesday.

Tass quoted him as telling the Agricultural Sciences Academy that this year Russia had a grain yield of 1.87 tons per hectare, the highest level in 40 years.

Last month, Gordeyev confirmed the harvest estimate for this year of 82.5 million tons given by President Vladimir Putin. But he added the harvest figure could be as high as 83 million tons.

Domodedovo Rail Link

MOSCOW (MT) -- A high-speed rail link connecting Domodedovo Airport and Paveletsky Station will be completed by March, the company operating the airport said Wednesday.

The project, jointly developed by the Moscow Railway and East Line Group, which runs Domodedovo, has already consumed 200 million rubles ($6.68 million) of investment.

East Line said the construction of the railway terminal in Domodedovo and overhaul of the track have been completed.

The reconstruction of a hall at Paveletsky Station will require an additional 100 million ruble investment, while some $300,000 will be spent on electric trains, an East Line spokesman said.

Domodedovo said it is in consultations with domestic and Western investors to attract loans for the airport's further development.

Domodedovo is the only airport in Moscow that has railway access.

LUKoil Shares Stopped

MOSCOW (MT) -- Trading of LUKoil shares will be suspended as of Thursday while the No. 1 oil major conducts a swap of its convertible preferred shares for ordinary shares.

The swap is the final stage of a plan to eliminate preferred shares altogether. All 77,221,864 preferred shares will be canceled, while the number of ordinary shares will grow from 773,351,391 to 850,573,255.

Trading will resume after the new issue is registered with the Federal Securities Commission.

Gas Cooperation

MOSCOW (MT) -- Ukraine intends to coordinate its moves on the natural-gas market with Russia, Interfax reported Ukrainian Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh as saying Wednesday.

"The natural gas that is being extracted in Ukraine with money provided by investors, and which is their property, can be sold to Europe without limitations," Kinakh told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

"Regarding the gas that may be saved by implementing an energy-saving program or as a result of additional supplies to Ukraine, it may be exported only after an appropriate Ukrainian-Russian intergovernmental agreement is signed," he said.

Hungary Trade to Ease

MOSCOW (MT) -- Russia and Hungary may eliminate mutual trade restrictions following negotiations now under way, Interfax reported Hungary's trade representative in Russia as saying.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry trade department is holding talks with the Economic Development and Trade Ministry on the lifting of higher duties imposed this year on some Hungarian foods, said trade representative Tibor Marton.

Russia imposed the duties in retaliation for Hungary's imposition in 2000 of import duties on Russian nitrogen fertilizers.

For The Record

Leche Pascual SA, one of Spain's biggest food companies, plans to build a $60 million dairy plant in the Kaluga region city of Kirov, Interfax reported Wednesday. (MT)

Russia received $2.5 billion in foreign direct investment in the first half of this year, Interfax reported an official at the Economic Development and Trade Ministry as saying Wednesday. (MT)

Russia exported 11.58 million tons of iron-ore products in the first 10 months of this year, 11.5 percent less than in the same period of 2000, Interfax reported Wednesday. (MT)