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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$400M in TNK Bonds

MOSCOW (MT) -- Tyumen Oil Co., or TNK, has placed $400 million in eurobonds with an annual interest rate of 11 percent, the RosBusinessConsulting news agency reported Menatep St. Petersburg as saying Thursday.

Menatep is a senior co-manager in the syndicate that sold the bonds.

The placement price was 100 percent of the nominal value and the date of redemption is Nov. 6, 2007. The issue's organizers were Credit Suisse First Boston and Schroeder Salomon Smith Barney.

Cash-at-Customs Bill

MOSCOW (MT) -- The State Duma has passed a bill in the first reading that would allow foreigners to take out of the country more than $1,500 without a declaration, Ekho Moskvy radio reported Thursday.

Previously, foreigners could only take out up to $500 with a declaration.

The law must be passed by the Duma in two more readings, then be passed by the Federation Council and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

Gold Leap Forecasted

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Gold output may increase to between 174 and 175 metric tons this year from 154.3 tons in 2001, Valery Braiko, chairman of the country's Gold Industrialists Union, said Thursday.

The output rise would follow the launch of producers' new production facilities, he said without elaborating.

Gold output rose to 132.943 tons in the first nine months of this year from 116.288 tons in the same period last year, the union said in a statement.

New Alrosa Mines

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Uncut diamond monopoly Alrosa plans to launch four new mines before the end of 2010, Alrosa president Vladimir Kalitin said at a diamond and precious metals market conference Thursday.

He said these four mines would have an annual production capacity of 6 million metric tons and require $2.6 billion of investment.

Lower Export Duties

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The government commission on protective measures in foreign trade is expected to come up with a list of domestic goods subject to a lower export duty by Dec. 15, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Thursday.

The products have yet to be determined, he said at a news conference.

Kudrin said he believes that export duties should be reduced for all goods made by domestic manufacturers.

Furthermore, import duties on high-tech products that have no domestic competition need to be lowered to stimulate the economy, he said.

MTS Acquisitions

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- No. 1 cellular operator Mobile TeleSystems has bought a 33.34 percent stake in regional telecom operator Dontelecom for $7.5 million, attaining full control of the company, MTS said Thursday.

Dontelecom provides GSM services in the Rostov region. In September, MTS bought a 66.66 percent stake in Dontelecom for $15 million.

MTS also bought 100 percent in Far East operator Bit for $900,000 from the little-known Popat Holdings Ltd.

Dirty-Money Laws

MOSCOW (MT) -- President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a raft of amendments to fight money laundering, Agence France Presse reported the Kremlin press service as saying.

The laws, approved by lawmakers in September, enlarged the list of organizations that must report to a financial surveillance body to include enterprises dealing in precious stones and metals and the gaming industry. The laws are also aimed at preventing the financing of terrorist activities.

The anti-money laundering law that became effective in February requires all transactions exceeding 600,000 rubles ($19,700) to be monitored by the Financial Monitoring Committee.

Reserves Up $900M

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Hard currency and gold reserves rose $900 million to $46.4 billion in the week ending Oct. 25, the Central Bank reported Thursday.

As of July 1, the amount of reserves disclosed to the public has not included the Central Bank's short-term liabilities denominated in hard currency.

Canadian Gold Buy

MOSCOW (MT) -- Canada's Bema Gold Corp. has struck a deal to buy 75 percent of the Chukotka-based Kupol gold and silver project, Canadian media reported Thursday.

Bema said it has signed a letter of intent with the regional government. The terms of the deal were not revealed.

Bema said Kupol could hold millions of ounces of gold and silver and that it will begin exploring in April.

Gosstroi Head Sacked

MOCOW (MT) -- The government on Wednesday fired Anvar Shamuzafarov from his post as head of state company Gosstroi, calling him inactive.

Shamuzafarov will be replaced by Colonel-General Nikolai Koshman, former head of the Kremlin-appointed Chechen administration during the first 1994-96 war in the breakaway republic.

Shamuzafarov has worked in the government since 1991 and became head of Gosstroi in 1999.

'$350M Pipe Loss'

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Russian pipe companies stand to lose upward of $350 million in 2003 after quotas are lifted on Ukrainian pipe imports, Andrei Komarov, board chairman of the Chelyabinsk Pipe- Plant, said Thursday.

After easing the limitations, Ukraine could export as much as 1 million tons of pipe per year to Russia, while Russia's annual demand for pipes stands at 4.9 million tons, Komarov said.

Under a quota agreement that expires in January, Ukraine can export up to 620,000 tons of pipes duty free. Under a separate government ruling in May 2001, Ukraine has to pay a 20 percent import duty on large-diameter pipes and 40 percent on other types, but the ruling is to be canceled this month.

For the Record

Gazprom plans to buy 6 billion rubles' ($190 million) worth of pipes in 2003, a company official said Thursday. (Prime-Tass)

Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant plans to increase car exports by more than 200 percent to 30,000 vehicles in 2003, the company said Thursday. (Prime-Tass)

Czech carmaker Skoda Auto increased its Russian sales by 40.5 percent to 7,478 cars in the first nine months of 2002, Skoda said Thursday. (Prime-Tass)

No. 2 cellular operator Vimpelcom has bought an additional 1 percent stake in Beeline-Samara for $500,000, giving it 51 percent, the company said Thursday. (MT)