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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Cabinet Meeting Off

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The government canceled its meeting scheduled for Thursday, the governmental press service said Monday. No reasons for the decision were given.

The press service said consideration of the bills on currency regulation and individual bank deposit guarantees has been postponed.

Nationalization Bill

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The government plans to submit its nationalization bill to the State Duma by the end of the year, First Deputy Property Minister Alexander Braverman said Monday.

The government is now considering the bill, Braverman said at the Duma.

Under the bill, the government could nationalize only property it needs to manufacture strategic products, he said.

Nationalization would not be used to punish companies or secure obligations, Braverman said. "Any renationalization is out of the question," he added.

Putin Names Reps

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- President Vladimir Putin has appointed economic adviser Andrei Illarionov, first deputy head of the presidential administration Dmitry Medvedev and Anton Danilov-Danilyan, the head of the presidential administration's economic department, as his representatives on the Central Bank's supervisory council, the presidential press service said. Monday.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov last week signed a decree appointing the government's representatives to the National Banking Council -- Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref and First Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Ulyukayev.

Committee Funding

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The State Customs Committee needs about 200 billion rubles ($6.3 billion) to equip its border facilities, State Customs Committee deputy chairman Leonid Lozbenko said Monday.

"That would require years," he said at a news conference, adding that the budget lacks the resources for such a huge investment.

Lozbenko also said the World Bank is expected to loan $140 million starting in July 2003 for the committee to develop informational and technical facilities.

Customs Streamlining

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The State Customs Committee wants to simplify customs procedures for major foreign investors, first deputy committee chairman Leonid Lozbenko said Monday.

Ford Motor Co. was recently provided with simplified customs procedures, Lozbenko said, adding that it was just a pilot project and the committee has other projects under consideration.

233% VTB Profit Boost

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- State-owned Vneshtorgbank's net profit soared 233 percent year on year to 8 billion rubles ($250 million) in January-September, the bank said Monday.

VTB's net assets increased to 152.3 billion rubles as of Oct. 1 from 144.9 billion rubles at the beginning of 2001. The amount of individual deposits nearly doubled in January-September to 12.5 billion rubles from the year-on-year period.

The figures include part of the commercial business of another state major, Vneshekonombank, which is being transferred to VTB.

New GM Model?

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- General Motors Corp. will decide early next year whether to begin producing a second model at its joint venture car plant with AvtoVAZ, the company said Monday.

"The next priority for us in cooperation with AvtoVAZ is the joint production of the second model, which has not been approved yet, but it would be done in the first quarter of the next year," Heidi McCormack, general director of GM CIS, said at a news conference.

Surgut Reserve Boost

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- No. 3 oil producer Surgutneftegaz said Monday it planned to boost its recoverable oil reserves by more than 1 billion barrels by 2006 to help maintain its healthy output growth.

Surgut said in a statement that its proven and audited reserves of 2.5 billion tons of oil (18.3 billion barrels) would rise by 150 million to 160 million tons by 2006 and by another 1 billion barrels by 2010.

3 New Ramstores

MOSCOW (MT) -- Ramenka, the Turkish company that operates Ramstore, announced that its plans to open three new hypermarkets in Moscow, the RosBusinessConsulting news agency reported Monday.

Ramenka will open new hypermarkets in Zhulebino, as well as near the Sportivnaya and Sokol metro stations, a company spokesman said. Thirteen Ramstores have been opened in Moscow so far.

Fashion Store to Open

HELSINKI, Finland (Reuters) -- Finnish retailer Stockmann said Monday it had signed a deal with Inditex SA, the owner of fashion store chain Zara, to open one shop in Russia and two shops in Finland next spring.

The Zara store will open in the MEGA shopping center by spring, Stockmann said in a statement

For the Record

Sibur, Gazprom's petrochemical subsidiary, has earmarked $200 million to implement energy-saving technologies within the next several months, a Sibur spokesman said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Russian farmers boosted meat production 4.9 percent year on year to 4.5 million metric tons in live weight in January to September, the State Statistics Committee said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Vimpelcom is planning to launch cellular services in the northwest in March, Vimpelcom sales director Mikhail Yakovlev said Monday. (Prime-Tass)