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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Putin-Sibneft Talks

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Sibneft president Yevgeny Shvidler told President Vladimir Putin at a meeting Thursday that the oil major would push ahead with its bid for a 75 stake in Russian-Belarussian company Slavneft, an official in the presidential press service said.

Shvidler and Putin discussed a number of other issues including oil exports and Sibneft's participation in unspecified international projects, the official said. No other details were provided.

A Sibneft official said Shvidler told Putin of Sibneft's projects on domestic and foreign markets, as well as the company's plans in the Moscow region.

$3Bln in IPOs

ST. PETERSBURG (Prime-Tass) -- Newly traded companies attracted $3 billion from initial public offerings in January to September, up from $1.5 billion for the whole of 2001, Federal Securities Commission Chairman Igor Kostikov said Thursday.

"I think it's a very high and qualitative figure," Kostikov told journalists.

Brokerage Separation

MOSCOW (Vedomosti) -- Alexander Pleshakov, deputy chairman of the Federal Securities Committee, on Wednesday advised investment banks to separate consulting services from analytical departments.

The suggestion follows the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's threats to do likewise following a string of scandals on Western markets.

The FSC did not say how the separations would be enforced.

NPK Purchase?

MOSCOW (Vedomosti) -- Bank major Mezhprombank is looking to acquire 50 percent of the New Programs and Concepts holding, which controls St. Petersburg-based Severnaya Verf shipyard, sources close to the holding said Wednesday.

The bank is expected to pay $30 million to $50 million to NPK chief Boris Kuzyk for the 50 percent stake, the sources said.

Sources said the deal would save New Programs and Concepts, or NPK, from bankruptcy, which faces due to recent political and economic problems.

NPK has been ordered to pay $603 million to the state for two unfinished destroyers it had allegedly received from the government illegally.

National Savings Plan

ST. PETERSBURG (Prime-Tass) -- The Finance Ministry plans to launch a national savings system for ordinary citizens in 2003, Deputy Finance Minister Bella Zlatkis said Thursday.

Some technical problems remain, but the ministry should resolve them by next year, Zlatkis said at a news conference.

The volume of the national savings system market is likely to amount to 10 billion ($315 million) to 15 billion rubles in the first phase, she added.

No further details were available.

Foreign Insurance Issue

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Foreign insurers account for 7 percent to 8 percent of the combined charter capital of the Russian insurance sector, but have a much larger share of the market for long-term products, said Yury Reshetnyak, an official in the All-Russian Union of Insurers.

Foreign companies represent about 50 percent of the market in some cases, mostly products extending more than six years, Reshetnyak said at a conference on World Trade Organization accession.

Foreign companies by law cannot account for more than 15 percent of the insurance industry's total charter capital.

The WTO has said Russian's insurance market must be liberalized before the country can enter the trade group.

20-30 New Hotels

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- About 20 three-star hotels will be constructed in Moscow within the next few years, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Thursday.

The construction of three-star hotels will "attract middle-class tourists from around the world," he said.

Luzhkov said that following completion of the new hotels, Moscow would pass the 130,000 rooms needed to meet the city government's tourism goals.

New Surgut Fields

TYUMEN, Western Siberia (Prime-Tass) -- Oil major Surgutneftegaz plans to start developing three new oil fields in the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district next year, a company source said Thursday.

The North Seliyarovskoye, North Aipimskoye and North Tonchinskoye fields have combined reserves of 25 million tons of oil, the source said.

New-Look Deripaska

MOSCOW (Vedomosti) -- For the first time ever, Oleg Deripaska has registered a purchase in his own name.

The Moscow Arbitration Court on Wednesday lifted injunctions forbidding the registration of a share issue at Ingosstrakh, and five new shareholders have appeared, including Deripaska with 17.8 percent.

The issue raised Ingosstrakh's charter capital from 100 million to 500 million rubles ($15.8 million), a source in the company said.

Defense Licenses

MOSCOW (MT) -- The State Committee on Military and Technical Cooperation with Foreign Countries has issued licenses to four domestic defense companies to trade spare parts independently of state arms sales giant Rosoboronexport.

The companies -- No. 1 arms exporter Aviation Military Production Complex Sukhoi, jet engine maker Salyut, the Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering and Pribor Federal Scientific-Industrial Center -- will also be able to provide maintenance services.

3 Pension Increases

MOSCOW (MT) -- The government is planning three pensions increases in 2003, news agencies reported Pension Fund chief Mikhail Zurabov as saying Thursday.

Pension will be increased by 5 percent in February, 11.2 percent in April and 6 percent in August.

The base pension, one of three components of the sum under the new pension system, could be raised to 600 rubles ($19) by October or earlier, depending on when the minimum monthly wage is raised to 600 rubles. The base is about 450 rubles.

The average pension would increase by 21 percent to about 1,777 rubles as of Jan. 1, 2004. As of Aug. 1, the average pension stood at 1,417 rubles.

UES Bonds Get A+

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Standard and Poor's has assigned a national scale rating of ruA+ to Unified Energy Systems's planned 3 billion ruble ($90 million) issue of senior unsecured, the ratings agency announced Thursday.

S&P also affirmed its B and ruA+ Russian national scale rating for UES's corporate credit.