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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief


MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian Aluminum is planning an initial public offering of shares and an issuance of bonds in two years to finance new plants, its CEO told Vedomosti in a report published Monday.

"As stipulated by law, [IPO, bond issues will start] two years after financial results according to generally accepted accounting principles are published," RusAl chief executive Oleg Deripaska said.

He said that the company expected to publish its 2001 financial results drawn up to GAAP standards in the middle of May.

Deripaska said the company planned to use the money from bonds and the share issue to finance building several new plants, but declined to give details.

Fiat, GAZ Venture

MOSCOW (MT) -- Italian Iveco and RusPromAvto are negotiating a joint venture to produce trucks and engines at the GAZ factory in Nizhny Novgorod, a Fiat spokesman said Monday.

Iveco, the truck division of Fiat, wants an equal share joint venture with RusPromAvto to produce buses, heavyweight trucks and diesel engines.

GAZ general director Dmitry Strezhnev and Iveco president De Lamber signed an agreement Friday committing the two companies to cooperating on the JV project until 2007. GAZ is a subsidiary of RusPromAvto.

Malaysia Undecided

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Reuters) -- Malaysia has not yet decided if it will buy Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MK or other multirole fighters, Defense Minister Najib Razak said Monday after an Indian newspaper reported the project's approval.

NIKoil Denial

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) --NIKoil has denied claims by Russian Aluminum head Oleg Deripaska that it has already acquired a 90 percent stake in Avtobank.

"We are only now finalizing the technical details of the deal, which could take a long time to complete," a NIKoil spokesman said Monday.

The deal has yet to be approved by the Anti-Monopoly Ministry and the Central Bank, which holds 75 percent in Avtobank as collateral for a 2.5 billion ruble ($80 million) stabilization loan issued to Avtobank several years ago.

Post Price Hike

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Tariffs for basic postal services in Russia will be increased 14 percent from May 15, the Anti-Monopoly Ministry said Monday.

The hike is intended to increase the profitability of postal service organizations, the ministry added.

Postal service revenues increased 35.5 percent in 2001 to 16.8 billion rubles ($538 million), the Communications Ministry said.

Egmont Talks

MOSCOW (MT) -- A Financial Monitoring Committee delegation is traveling to Washington on Thursday to discuss Russia's entry to the Egmont Group of financial intelligence units, Interfax quoted committee head and Deputy Finance Minister Viktor Zubkov as saying Monday.

Zubkov said Russia has been invited to a meeting of the Egmont Group -- which unites financial intelligence groups in 58 countries -- in Monaco on June 5-6, where a decision on Russia's admission is likely to be made, Interfax reported.

Russia, China Taskforce

BEIJING (Prime-Tass) -- Russia and China have set up a taskforce on trade disputes, which is going to "start working immediately," Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko as saying Monday, following his working visit to Beijing.

The taskforce is expected to resolve trade disputes by doing preventative work related to "any difficulties or complications" that may arise in the course of Russian-Chinese trade and economic relations, Khristenko said.

Pipeline Deal

BEIJING (Prime-Tass) -- Russia and China are expected to agree on investment in the construction of a 2,400-kilometer oil pipeline in July, Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko as saying Monday.

Khristenko confirmed that the pipeline was expected to become operational in 2005.

WTO Benefits

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The agricultural sector will profit from Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, as its entry would open up foreign markets, Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev told Izvestia.

"Joining the organization poses no danger to the agricultural sector since we are neither providing any state aid to it, nor defending it," Gordeyev was reported as saying.

Agriculture is among the thorniest issues at the WTO talks, as many WTO members are against Russian agriculture having state protection.

WTO Report Due

MOSCOW (MT) -- The first reading of the draft report of the working group for Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization is due in Geneva on Wednesday to Thursday, Interfax reported Monday.

Interfax quoted Economic Development and Trade Ministry spokesman Konstantin Bogdanov as saying "a thorough examination of the document … will take place in June in the framework of the next official meeting of the working group."

RTS Down

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The benchmark RTS index closed 1.79 percent lower at 379.77 after peaking at a four-year high of 386.85 last week, with some investors cautious the bourse could be near the end of its bull run. Reported turnover was $15.8 million.

The Reuters index of the ruble-denominated MICEX closed off 2.59 percent at 1,684.70 on 3.48 billion rubles ($111 million) in turnover.

Ruble Firms

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The ruble firmed against the dollar Monday, helped by solid demand ahead of monthly tax payments.

The currency traded within a band of 31.1499-31.1600 per dollar, with the last deal set at 31.1558.

Based on the results of the trade, the Central Bank set its official next day ruble/dollar rate at 31.1516.

For the Record

Beer output rose 23.3 percent year on year in the first quarter, to 147 million decaliters, the State Statistics Committee reported Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Unemployment fell 1 percent, or 61,000, to 6,293,000 in the first quarter, Interfax reported the State Statistics Committee as saying Friday. (MT)

Tax arrears to the federal and regional budgets increased by 6.8 percent in the first quarter to 505.8 billion rubles ($16.2 billion) as of April 1, the Tax Ministry said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Industrial producers' prices went down 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2002, Interfax reported the State Statistics Committee as saying Friday. (MT)

The government commission for the protection of foreign trade may cut the export duty on liquefied gas from 40 euros to 20 euros ($17.80) per ton on April 30, Interfax quoted Vladimir Kirilov, head of the Energy Ministry's economic regulation department as saying Monday. (MT)

Trade turnover between Russia and Denmark increased 30 percent in 2001 to $1.12 billion, Interfax reported the Economic Development and Trade Ministry as saying Monday. (MT)