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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$1.27Bln Payment

MOSCOW (MT) — Russia will pay $1.27 billion to foreign creditors in August, the Finance Ministry said Monday, Interfax reported.

The payments will be part of the second so-called "peak payment" period this year, after the $1.4 billion paid in February.

The ministry was quoted as saying that about $1.12 billion of the August payment will go to the Paris Club of creditors.

In total, Russia will pay off $13 billion in foreign debt this year, around 11 percent of the $144.4 billion it owed at the start of the year.

Ruble Slides to 29.27

MOSCOW (Reuters) — The ruble lost 2 kopeks against the dollar Monday as the Central Bank held back from supporting the currency in a market awash with rubles, dealers said.

The ruble’s weighted average for today settlement fell to 29.2687 per dollar from 29.2540 per dollar on Friday in a unified session of eight exchanges.

Based as usual on the session’s results, the Central Bank cut its official next-day rate to 29.27 per dollar after a previous 29.25 per dollar.

'No WTO in 2002'

MOSCOW (MT) — Vladimir Mau, head of the state center for economic reform, on Monday said he doubted Russia would become a World Trade Organization member before 2003 at the earliest.

"Rapid ascension into the WTO won’t happen for us. … Entry into the WTO is the first important step on the path to Russia’s full-fledged participation in European and world economic institutions," Mau said.

"Unfortunately, … I don’t believe that it will happen in 2002, although there are intentions to work in that direction," he added.

Sibneft Raises Target

MOSCOW (Reuters) — No. 6 oil firm Sibneft said Monday it had raised its production target for 2001 to about 405,000 barrels per day, or an annual 20.5 million metric tons, from an earlier target of 375,000 bpd.

A Sibneft spokesman said it was the second time the company had raised its forecast for 2001 and that it was due to better than expected progress with work toward expanding crude output.

"Work is progressing better that we had expected, including with the Sugmut field," he said.

The company — which is targetting 2002 output of 25.5 million tons or nearly 504,000 bpd — is investing nearly $600 million in exploration and production in 2001 and another $100 million in refining and retail operations, the spokesman said.

By 2006 Sibneft intends to increase annual crude output to 30 million tons.