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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

S&P Upgrades LUKoil

MOSCOW (MT) -- Standard & Poor's raised its long-term corporate credit rating on No. 1 oil major LUKoil to B+ from B, Prime-Tass reported the ratings agency as saying Wednesday.

The outlook is stable, S&P said in a statement.

S&P also raised its senior unsecured debt rating on LUKoil's guaranteed subsidiary LUKinter Finance BV to B+ from B. The upgrade follows S&P's lifting of the sovereign long-term local and foreign currency credit ratings to B+ from B.

Ford Expectations

MOSCOW (MT) -- New foreign car sales should increase 25 percent to 100,000 in 2002, Prime-Tass reported the general director of Ford Russia as saying Thursday.

Foreign car sales are likely to rise to more than 230,000 cars in 2004, Henrik Nenzen said.

He expects Ford to sell 4,200 cars in Russia this year and 8,000 in 2002, adding that Ford is hoping to open a new plant in the Leningrad region in April.

$50M CB Auction

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The Central Bank said Thursday it had sold $50 million at a minimum rate of 32.50 rubles per dollar at an auction aimed at helping foreigners repatriate rubles frozen after GKO treasury bill restructuring.

Total demand at the auction, which took place Tuesday, was $96.14 million, a Central Bank official said. The amount on offer was $50 million.

The Central Bank's official Thursday rate is 30.28 rubles per dollar.

Crude Forecast Down

MOSCOW (MT) -- Russia is expecting to produce 88.5 million tons of crude oil in the first quarter of 2002, down from 89.1 million tons expected in the fourth quarter of 2001, a government official told Prime-Tass on Thursday.

Crude supplies to Russian and Belarussian refineries are expected at 48 million tons in the first quarter, the source said, without providing details.

Earlier this week, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said oil output is expected to rise to between 350 million and 355 million tons in 2002.

Analysts expect oil output in 2001 to reach 340 million to 350 million tons, a 7 percent year-on-year increase.

Poultry Farm Boost

MOSCOW (MT) -- Large poultry farms boosted production 19.7 percent year-on-year in January to November to 802,000 tons in live weight, an official with the State Statistics Committee told Prime-Tass.

The output of eggs rose 4.2 percent year-on-year in that period to 22.783 billion. The total meat output by big farms rose 1.4 percent year-on-year to 2.562 million tons in January to November.

Bank Accounts

MOSCOW (MT) -- The correspondent accounts of banks with the Central Bank stood at 87.999 billion rubles ($2.9 billion) as of Thursday, down from 94.472 billion rubles on Wednesday, Prime-Tass reported the Central Bank as saying.