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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

GDP Grows 4.2%

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The nation's economy expanded 4.2 percent in the first 11 months of the year compared with a 4.1 percent government forecast for the whole of 2002, news agencies quoted a government official as saying.

Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Arkady Dvorkovich also said month-on-month gross domestic product growth in November was around zero. The government does not routinely provide monthly GDP data.

"In the near future, we shall receive missing data on exports and imports and make a more precise calculation of November GDP, but it is likely to be only slightly higher," Interfax quoted him as telling reporters.

Dvorkovich also said industrial output fell 0.8 percent in the January-November period, mainly due to declining output of nonferrous metals and machine building -- a suspension of production at automakers AvtoVAZ and GAZ.

Real Incomes Rise

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Real disposable income rose 0.2 percent on the month and 7.7 percent on the year in November, the State Statistics Committee said Monday.

Real disposable income is income adjusted according to the consumer price index, with mandatory payments deducted.

Russia's average per capita income in November stood at 4,245 rubles ($133) per month, up 25 percent on the year and 1.8 percent on the month.

The nominal monthly wage in November stood at 4,785 rubles, up 3 percent on the month and 34 percent on the year, according to preliminary estimates.

7.1% Unemployment

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The number of unemployed in Russia fell 0.1 percent on the month and 18.4 percent on the year in November to 5.14 million, or 7.1 percent of the labor force, the State Statistics Committee said Monday.

The figure was calculated according to the methodology of the International Labor Organization.

The number of officially registered unemployed rose 4.4 percent on the month and 17.3 percent on the year in November to 1.249 million, or 1.7 percent of the labor force.

Russia's labor force was estimated at 72.6 million as of the end of November, the committee said.

$10Bln Capital Flight

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Capital flight is expected to total $10 billion in 2002, down $6 billion on the year, First Deputy Central Bank Chairman Oleg Vyugin told reporters Monday.

Vyugin said capital flight is declining due to the launch of Russian companies' borrowing on foreign markets. He did not elaborate.

Earlier in December, Deputy Finance Minister Andrei Petrov said capital flight totaled $3 billion in January-October, compared to $16 billion and $24 billion for the whole of 2001 and 2000, respectively.

Petrov contributed the decline to improvements in the investment climate, which is due in part to the lower tax burden.

Retail Trade Grows

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Retail trade turnover in January-November grew 9.1 percent to 3.32 trillion rubles ($104 billion), the State Statistics Committee said Monday.

In November, the retail trade volume was 343.2 billion rubles, up 9.5 percent on the year and 0.6 percent on the month.

Manufactured goods accounted for 55 percent of retail trade in November, while foodstuffs accounted for the rest, the committee said.

Registered shops accounted for 74.8 percent of the total retail trade, while markets accounted for 25.2 percent.

Trade Surplus Shrinks

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The nation's foreign trade surplus in January-October stood at $38.97 billion, down from $42 billion in the same period last year, the State Statistics Committee said Monday.

Russia's exports in January-October rose 3 percent on the year to $87.5 billion, the committee said.

Exports to countries outside the CIS rose 2.6 percent on the year to $74.4 billion, while exports to other CIS countries grew 5.2 percent on the year to $13.1 billion.

Total imports in January-October rose 13 percent on the year to $48.5 billion. Imports from countries outside the CIS were up 20.7 percent on the year to $38.6 billion, while imports from CIS countries fell 9.7 percent to $9.9 billion.

Total trade turnover in January-October was $136.01 billion, up a 6.3 percent on the year. Russia's foreign trade surplus was $50 billion last year, down from $60.7 billion in 2000.

$7.2 Trillion in Assets?

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Gazprom's assets are currently valued at 230 trillion rubles ($7.2 trillion), Gazprom property relations department director Alexander Krasnenkov told reporters Monday.

Gazprom plans to complete an inventory audit of its assets by the end of May, Krasnenkov said.

Gazprom also plans to settle next year all questions relating to land for which it has indefinite leases, Krasnenkov added without elaborating.

$3.2Bln Gas Profit

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Gazprom expects a consolidated net profit for 2002 of 102.5 billion rubles ($3.22 billion) to Russian accounting standards, deputy chairman Boris Yurlov said Monday.

"Consolidated net profit in 2002 will about 1.5 billion [rubles] more than last year and will be about 102.5 billion rubles," Yurlov told reporters.

"The dynamic is such that Gazprom will double its financial results. In 2003 we will double our net profit in large part by cutting costs," he said.

Baku Warns LUKoil

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) -- Azeri President Heidar Aliyev said Monday that LUKoil must fulfill obligations to the Azeri government before it can move forward with selling its stake in a Caspian Sea oil field to a Japanese company.

On Friday, LUKoil said it had sold its 10 percent stake in a venture to develop the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields to Japan's Inpex Corp. for $1.375 billion. The deal would signal the withdrawal of Russian interest from one of the largest oil fields currently under development in the Caspian region, holding an estimated 4.5 billion barrels of crude.

But Aliyev said at a meeting with Japanese Ambassador Toshiyuki Fujiwara on Monday that LUKoil must first fulfill certain conditions it had promised to the Azeri side, which he did not specify. He said further negotiations with LUKoil were necessary to resolve the issue.

Yukos Refinery Deal

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Poland's largest refiner PKN Orlen said Monday it had signed a long-term agreement with Yukos to purchase up to 3 million metric tons (60,000 barrels per day) of Russian crude a year from 2003.

The company said in a statement that the deal runs until 2009 and can be extended for another three years, with volumes rising to 3.6 million tons per year from 2004 and to 5.2 million from 2006.

Yukos aims to boost the volume of its long-term sales to 80 percent of its global exports, in order to ensure that its booming oil output will find markets.

Poland is the second largest recipient of Russian crude after Germany through the Druzhba pipeline that runs from Russia to Central Europe.

Russian majors want to gradually get rid of costly intermediaries, including in Poland, where oil purchases from Russia have long been controlled by crude trader J&S, and boost direct long-term deals with European consumers. Yukos' oil will be supplied by the Geneva-based Petroval S.A., associated with the Yukos Group, the statement said.