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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom Tax Spat

MOSCOW (MT) -- Gazprom on Tuesday officially denied Tax Police accusations that it did not complete tax payments to various budgets, Prime-Tass reported Tuesday.

The Tax Police in February completed the inspection of Gazprom's financial activities from January 1999 to July 2001, Gazprom said in a press statement.

Earlier Tuesday, Viktor Vasilyev, the director of the Moscow division of the Tax Police, said the Tax Police would decide by the end of March whether or not to press charges against Gazprom and that a further investigation of the matter is under way. Vasilyev also said Gazprom is to transfer tens of billions of rubles to various budgets.

Gazprom deputy CEO Vitaly Savelyev said: "The disclosure of the results of an incomplete inspection is not only unethical, but can also seriously hurt Gazprom's business reputation in the domestic and foreign capital markets."

LUKoil Stake Sale

MOSCOW (MT) -- No. 1 oil producer LUKoil has decided to sell its stakes in oil projects near Sakhalin Island and in Morocco, Prime-Tass reported the company as saying Tuesday.

LUKoil Overseas, the company's subsidiary in charge of foreign projects, currently holds the stakes.

LUKoil will dispose of the stakes in an effort to complete the restructuring of the Russian-Canadian oil producer Bitech Petroleum Corp., which LUKoil bought in July 2001.

Rosbank in Arms Deal

MOSCOW (MT) -- Rosbank will provide state arms exporter Rosoboronexport with settlement, crediting, investment and financial services, the companies said Tuesday.

Yukos Oil Port

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- No. 2 oil major Yukos said Tuesday it planned to build Russia's largest crude oil and oil products export terminal on the Pacific coast to expand supplies to Asia.

The 140,000-barrel-per-day terminal will be built in the ice-free port of Vostochny, 15 kilometers from the port of Nakhodka, also on the Pacific coast, a Yukos spokesman said. He added that funding for the project would come both from Yukos and the port's main shareholder, leading steel group Severstal.

New Happyland Plant

MOSCOW (MT) -- Soft-drink maker Happyland, which controls almost a quarter of the canned cocktail market, has began construction of its first factory, the company said Tuesday.

Production at the facility in Tver will begin in 2003 with a capacity of 10 million dekaliters per year, Happyland said in a statement.

Radio Bizness Defiant

RIGA, Latvia (AP) -- A popular Russian-language radio station accused of violating on-air language laws said it would ignore an order to stop broadcasting at midnight Tuesday, but officials said they were prepared to pull the plug.

Management at Radio Bizness and Baltic said a refusal last week to renew its broadcast license on grounds it didn't include enough Latvian-language content was a violation of free speech.

Vena Boosts Sales

MOSCOW (MT) -- St. Petersburg-based brewer Vena boosted beer sales 87.4 percent year on year to 95.4 million liters, the company said Tuesday.

Vena had profits of 222 million rubles ($7.1 million) in 2001, the company said in a press release.

For the Record

Czech automaker Skoda said Tuesday it is planning to build a factory in Russia in 2003. (MT)

General Motors is to produce 35,000 cars a year at its venture with AvtoVAZ by 2003 and expects to export 30,000 a year to Western Europe by 2005, GM vice president David Herman said Tuesday. (MT)

Leading truck maker KamAZ has started production of a new line of heavy trucks and hopes to make 1,800 by the end of the year. (MT)

Russia posted a federal budget deficit of 15.3 billion rubles ($492 million), or 1.1 percent of gross domestic product, in February, Interfax reported a source in the Finance Ministry as saying Tuesday. (MT)