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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

UES Re-elects Voloshin

Reuters

Kremlin Chief of Staff Alexander Voloshin was re-elected chairman of the newly elected board of electricity monopoly Unified Energy Systems on Monday, UES press chief Andrei Trapeznikov said.

The new board, elected at an April 28 annual shareholders meeting, met for the first time Monday.

Voloshin wields the government's 52 percent stake in UES. The board includes three UES managers who retained their seats and two minority shareholders. The rest of the 15-member board is made up of federal officials and regional governors.




$2Bln Budget Surplus

The Moscow Times

Russia had a budget surplus of 67.4 billion rubles ($2.32 billion), or 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, in the first quarter of this year, about the same as in the first quarter of 2000, according to Finance Ministry figures, Interfax reported Monday.

The primary budget surplus widened to 162 billion rubles, or 6.3 percent of GDP, in the first four months of this year from 5.3 percent of GDP in the same period last year, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry reported on its web site.

Budget revenues totaled 452.8 billion rubles, or 17.6 percent of GDP, in the first four months of this year, up from 15.7 percent of GDP in January-April 2000.




$18.6Bln Trade Surplus

The Moscow Times

Russia had a foreign trade surplus of $18.6 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to government estimates.

The foreign trade turnover totaled an estimated $48.6 billion in the four months of 2001, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said in an economic report posted on its web site.

Russia was able to maintain a strong trade surplus in the four months thanks to high prices for staple Russian export commodities, especially crude oil and natural gas. But the value of non-energy exports declined, partly due to a drop in prices for nonferrous metals, the ministry said.




GDP Grows 4.4%d

The Moscow Times

Gross domestic product grew 4.4 percent year-on-year in the first four months of the year, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry announced Monday, Interfax reported.

GDP growth this year is expected to be 4 percent, the ministry said in an economic report posted on its web site.

GDP, before adjustments for seasonal and calendar factors, grew for three consecutive months after slipping in the fourth quarter of 2000 and in January, the ministry said.

Inflation is now expected to be between 14 percent and 16 percent this year instead of the 12 percent to 14 percent forecast earlier, the ministry said.




RTS Falls 0.17%

Reuters

Russia's key share index closed nearly flat Monday after a mini-surge in the few shares to stay liquid on a British and U.S. holiday, but traders said low volumes undermined the value of the late gains.

The RTS index closed off 0.17 percent at 201.6 points on a tiny turnover of $2.79 million and the Reuters Russian Composite closed up 0.71 percent at 1,226.95.

Late gains in a few shares pushed the index up from the 200 mark where it opened Monday morning, and the day's most liquid share, Unified Energy Systems, added 0.99 percent to close at $0.1019.




Algerian Arms Aid

The Associated Press

Russia will help modernize Algeria's armed forces with equipment including air defense components and warplanes, a top Russian official said Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov returned from a weekend trip to Algeria with an agreement to launch a 10-year program of military-technical cooperation, Itar-Tass reported. The Algerian side could buy equipment for the Algerian navy, air defense equipment, warplanes and anti-tank weapons, he said.

Klebanov told reporters that the first intergovernmental meeting under the program would be held in Moscow in October, Itar-Tass said.

Klebanov also said that Algeria's $4 billion debt to Russia would be restructured, and he expressed hope that some of the debt could be swapped for shares in Algerian gas, oil and irrigation companies.