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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Norilsk Stockpiling?

MOSCOW (MT) -- Metals giant Norilsk Nickel has stockpiled over 80,000 tons of unsold nickel at its warehouses due to unfavorable market conditions, Prime-Tass reported metal traders as saying Tuesday.

"Our estimates show that more than 60,000 tons are stockpiled at the company's warehouses in Norilsk and about 20,000 tons in London," a market source said.

While Norilsk Nickel admits it has some metal stockpiled in its warehouses, the company refuses to provide the exact volumes. World nickel prices have declined about 30 percent since the start of the year.

Gazprom Profit Up

MOSCOW (MT) -- Gazprom announced Tuesday that revenues jumped 34 percent and net profit increased 11 percent in the first nine months of 2001.

The gas monopoly rang up sales of 363.3 billion rubles ($12.2 billion), compared with 271.8 billion rubles during the same period last year. Net profit from January to September was 77.3 billion rubles, compared with 68.6 billion rubles in the same period last year.

The results were audited to Russian accounting standards, which differ significantly from Western standards. These nonconsolidated results represent about 60 percent of the monopoly's consolidated operations.

Hard Currency Sale Cut

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia may cut the volume of hard currency exporters are obliged to sell to 30 percent to 35 percent in one or two years from 50 percent now, First Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Ignatyev was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"I think in the next year or two we shall cut the volume of obligatory sales to 30 to 35 percent," Ignatyev told Expert magazine in an interview.

However, he said he was against a full abolition of obligatory sales.

Moscow Bond Plans

LONDON (Reuters) -- Moscow city is planning a four-year bond with a yield around 11 percent via JP Morgan and BNP Paribas, officials at the leads said Tuesday.

The bond may be launched this week, said the officials. One official said the minimum size of the bond was 250 million euros ($220 million), but it would probably be more than that due to investor demand.

Moscow Deputy Mayor Iosif Ordzhonikidze said last week the bond would likely reach 400 million euros.

Iraq Deals

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Little-known Russian firm Rosneftegazexport has signed deals with Iraq worth 100 million euros ($88.65 million) to supply the country with oil equipment, the Iraqi government newspaper al-Jumhouriya reported Tuesday.

The paper quoted a Rosneftegazexport official in Baghdad as saying the company had signed 20 contracts to supply Iraq with "requirements of the oil sector."

An industry source in Iraq added the contracts were signed under the current phase 10 of the United Nation's oil-for-food program, which expires Nov. 30.

French Power Plant

PARIS (Reuters) -- French heavy-engineering company Alstom SA has won a contract worth about 160 million euros ($142.1 million) from City Energo Ltd. to build a power plant in central Moscow, the company said Tuesday.

"The work on the first phase has already started, and first connection with the electrical grid ? is scheduled for the beginning of 2003," Alstom said.

The second phase is scheduled to start in July 2003, he said.

Ruble Firms

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The ruble firmed slightly against the dollar on the interbank market Tuesday, although it was weaker in the unified trading session, the basis for the official rate, dealers said.

The ruble edged down to 29.7208 per dollar in the so-called unified session of eight exchanges, versus 29.7145 in the previous session Friday.

There was no unified trade Monday due to a U.S. holiday.

Dealers said the Central Bank had apparently offered dollars in the session at 29.72 to 29.73, although it was not clear whether anyone had bought them.

Based on the results of the morning session, the Central Bank set its official next-day rate at 29.72 rubles per dollar, down from 29.71 Friday.

Afghan Aid

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia will supply 20,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan as part of food aid to the war-torn country, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.

He said Russia intended to spend a total of $12 million on humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

For the Record

St. Petersburg and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed an agreement Monday on issuing a $16 million loan in ruble equivalent to the city, Prime-Tass reported a St. Petersburg official as saying Tuesday.


Power exports, excluding to Belarus, rose 57 percent year on year in January to September to 9.4 billion kilowatt-hours, worth some $139 million, Prime-Tass reported the State Customs Committee as saying Tuesday. (MT)

Russian grain imports decreased 67 percent year on year to 257,700 tons in July to September due to an abundant domestic harvest of about 82.5 million tons, Prime-Tass reported grain trader OGO Group as saying Tuesday. (MT)

Russia exported 1.056 million tons of grain from the new harvest in July to September, up 76.3 percent year on year, Prime-Tass reported grain trader OGO Group as saying Tuesday. (MT)

Lumber exports rose 19.9 percent year on year to 28.125 million cubic meters, worth $1.269 billion in January to September, Prime-Tass reported the State Customs Committee as saying Tuesday. (MT)