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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$175M Sibneft Loan

Reuters

Russia's No. 6 oil producer Sibneft said Tuesday it had secured a two year $175 million syndicated loan arranged by Dutch ING Bank and France's Societe Generale.

A statement by Sibneft said the money — one of the largest syndicated loans secured by a Russian company since the 1998 crisis — would be used to help finance planned capital expenditures of $595 million this year.

Sibneft is boosting capital expenditures in 2001 by about $376 million to enhance recovery methods and to dramatically increase drilling.

The company gave no other details of the loan, but Interfax quoted Sibneft vice president Alexander Korsik as saying it was being offered at an annual interest rate of 9.5 percent.

Banks participating in the syndicated loan include Germany's Commerzbank, Austria's Erste Bank and Swiss Banque Cantonale Vaudoise. Moscow Narodny Bank and Belgium's KBC Bank are also taking part.




Guinness Goes to Court

The Moscow Times

Smirnoff trademark owner Guinness UDV asked the Supreme Court on Monday for the right to use the brand name, marking a new stage in a long standoff with the vodka's Russian producer, the Trading House of Descendants of Pyotr Smirnov.

British drinks group Guinness United Distillers and Vinters asked the court to overrule a decision by a court in Krasnodar Krai that banned the import, production or sale of Smirnoff vodka in Russia.

The Krasnodar court upheld last week last year's ruling by the local Krymsk Court that forbade U.S. producers to use the name of Pyotr Smirnov in their brand.

"If enforced, the Krymsk and Krasnodar court actions would make the Russian Federation the first and only country in the world to ban production and sale of Smirnoff vodka, Peter Necarsulmer, a spokesman for Guiness, was quoted in a statement as saying.




Sibir Loaned $17M

The Moscow Times

Sberbank, the nation's largest bank, on Tuesday agreed to extend a $16.9 million line of credit to No. 4 airlines Sibir to purchase a Tupolev Tu-204 passenger jet, Prime-Tass reported.

The loan is Sberbank's second to the air carrier after last year's $15.8 million credit to purchase its first Tu-204 craft. The company will begin flying that new craft next month, the company said.

Both planes will be used on international flights, joining the airline's fleet of some 30 aircraft.




Air Space Permission

The Associated Press

HONG KONG — Cathay Pacific Airways is seeking permission from Russia to fly over its air space in order to launch nonstop Hong Kong-New York flights, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Cathay spokeswoman Maria Yu said that the carrier hopes to launch the flights as soon as it gets clearance to fly the polar route over Russian territory.

But Yu disputed a local newspaper report that the company's plans were being delayed by the negotiations with Russia — saying executives never announced a timetable for the new service.

Although Cathay did not announce plans for the nonstop New York flights until U.S. carriers Continental Airlines and United Airlines had their services ready to go, Yu said demand for the flights "has always been very high."

Cathay now flies to New York with a stop in Vancouver - a journey that takes 18 hours. The nonstop flights will be about two and a half hours faster, Yu said.




Crude Exports Up

Reuters

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Lithuanian oil concern Mazeikiu Nafta said Tuesday it will export at least 900,000 tons of Russian crude through its terminal in the second quarter of 2001.

"According to the current schedule, we will export some 900,000 tons of crude, but practice shows we usually handle considerably more through additional contracts," said Tadas Augustauskas, a spokesman for Mazeikiu, which is one-third owned by U.S. Williams.

The company's initial crude export plan for the first quarter of the year stood at 625,000 tons, while actual crude export in that period came to some 1.3 million tons through additional contracts, Augustauskas added.