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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Paris Club Debt Payout


Russia will pay in full debts owed to the Paris Club of creditor nations for February by Tuesday and intends to honor payments on schedule from March, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Sunday.

"In the next two working days, Russia will make payments to the Paris Club, amounting to the full percentage of payment remaining for February," Interfax quoted Kasyanov, who was in Italy on an official visit, as saying. Russia still owes the Paris Club nations $620 million out of a total of $1.2 billion due in February.

State debt agent Vneshekonombank paid $577.45 million to the club last week. The government, citing temporary financial problems, had said in January it would be unable to make full payments to the club in the first quarter.

Gazprom Raises $240M


Gazprom said Monday it had earned $240 million by placing 1.44 percent of its shares with long-term investors.

A company news release said the issue and placement of American Depositary Shares was carried out via closed subscription in several tranches in the fourth quarter of last year and January of this year.

It said this was part of a program for the period up to 2003 that envisages gradual moves to bring the level of foreign ownership up to 20 percent.

Foreign holdings are mainly in the hands of German gas concern Ruhrgas, which has a 4 percent stake plus 1 percent in the form of ADSs. Another 1.98 percent is traded on the open market as ADSs. The state holds 38.37 percent.

Russian legal entities and individuals hold the remaining shares.

Seoul Bank Seeks Cash


SEOUL, South Korea — State-run Korea Development Bank on Monday balked at allowing a Russian state bank to postpone about $100 million in interest payments just hours before President Vladimir Putin was due to arrive in Seoul.

"We will not sign an agreement on the postponement with the Russian bank unless the [Seoul] government promises in written form to repay 90 percent of the debt to us," said Bae Jae-hwan, an official at KDB, the main creditor for loans totaling $1 billion to Russia in 1991.

With interest, the overdue loans are now worth about $1.7 billion.

Governments of the two countries agreed last year to roll over repayment on part of the interest, but the 10 Korean banks involved are resisting the deal.

To make the agreement binding, the KDB needs to reach a deal by end-February with Russia's Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of the U.S.S.R., which the Korean bank said Monday it was not willing to do.

U.S. FAA to Vet Airport

The Moscow Times

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration soon will inspect the readiness of the airport at Krasnoyarsk for servicing foreign jets, Prime-Tass reported the press service of the airport's operator, KrasAir, as saying.

The press service said the inspection move has been initiated by the U.S. airline Continental, which plans to launch cross-Arctic flights from New York to Hong Kong as of Thursday.

The news agency said Boeing 777-200 jets will make seven flights a week on the route.

Twin-engine jets, including Boeing 757s, 767s and 777s, on cross-Arctic routes may demand alternate airfields equipped to Western standards.

Better Living Standards

The Moscow Times

Raising living standards is the only way for Russian society to develop positively, Itar-Tass reported President Vladimir Putin as saying Monday.

"If this task is resolved, all other problems will be settled much easier," Putin added.

"This means that the country will act as a single whole, represent and protect its interests in everything, in its foreign policy, which will be aimed at building relations with countries on the basis of modern democratic world order and, above all, of course, protecting its national interests without forgetting the interests of our partners and neighbors," Putin was quoted as saying.

The president said the high level of public support for his domestic policies is explained by the fact that he is in touch with "at least for the time being, what is on the minds of ordinary Russian citizens and what they expect from the authorities."

Mazheikiu Optimistic


MAZHEIKIU, Lithuania — Lithuanian oil concern Mazheikiu Nafta said it expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of up to 250 million litas ($62.5 million) in 2001 and a break-even profit.

Mazheikiu managing director Jim Scheel said the concern was in talks with Russian oil majors Yukos, Tyumen Oil Co. and Surgutneftegaz to secure an annual 4 million to 6 million metric tons of crude supplies.

Deals with those firms could be clinched within the next three to six months, he added.