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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Joint Stock Plans

TYUMEN, Western Siberia (Prime-Tass) -- The government plans to broaden its role in joint stock companies with state stakes, Deputy Property Minister Sergei Kosarev said Thursday.

He said the companies should include special provisions in their charters outlining the additional powers of state representatives in companies with state participation. Kosarev said this measure was expected to improve the companies' dividend policy.

The state currently has stakes in 4,000 of 9,000 Russian joint stock companies and plans to receive 35 billion rubles ($1.12 billion) of revenues from its participation this year, including 6.5 billion rubles in dividend payments, Kosarev said.

Kosarev also said the government planned to start investing into the development of state-owned companies this year.

"We have so far been expecting to only get revenues from state property. But now we are starting to invest in it to maintain the facilities in a decent state," he said.

Government officials have repeatedly said that budget revenues from state property are very low compared with the amount of property still owned by the state.

Kosarev was speaking at a meeting with regional state property officials in Tyumen, western Siberia.

CB Makes '01 Profit

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Central Bank closed 2001 with a profit on financial operations of 18.083 billion rubles ($580 million), up from 4.179 billion rubles in 2000, Interfax reported the deputy head of the State Duma's budget and taxation committee as saying.

The report is to be reviewed next week by the Duma commission for organizing the audit of the Central Bank's annual report, Mikhail Zadornov said. The Duma received the Central Bank's report for 2001 on Thursday.

PM: Labor Inefficient

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Russia needs to increase labor productivity, develop competition and participate more efficiently in the development of the international division of labor to ensure sustainable economic growth, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Thursday.

"This is the foundation of further economic development and accelerating its growth," he said at a regular government meeting.

The government meeting is to discuss, among other issues, the development program for Russia's metals sector through 2010.

Ruble Eases as CB Buys

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The ruble eased against the dollar Thursday as the Central Bank bought the greenback in its ongoing attempt to slow the ruble's real appreciation in order to help exporters compete with foreign competitors.

The ruble eased slightly in official early trade to a weighted average for today settlement of 31.2554 to the dollar from 31.2468 Wednesday, with the last deal registered at 31.2610.

Trade volume rocketed to $152.5 million compared to $102.5 million Wednesday. The Central Bank accounted for at least two-thirds of the total, dealers said.

Sea Fuel Exports Up

LONDON (Reuters) -- Seaborne oil product exports jumped to 1.695 million barrels per day in April, 7.6 percent up from March and 28 percent higher than in April 2001, an industry analyst said Thursday.

Total exports in March this year stood at 1.575 million bpd, and in April 2001 at 1.325 million bpd, according to data complied by Geneva-based consultancy Petrologistics.

The biggest surge was in gas oil exports, which reached 730,000 bpd in April compared with 655,000 bpd in March and 535,000 bpd in April 2001, a massive 36 percent year-on-year rise.

Exports of other oil products, principally gasoline and jet fuel, stood at 250,000 bpd in April, compared with 240,000 bpd in March and 185,000 bpd in April last year.

Car Imports Jump 67%

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Car imports rose 67 percent year on year in the first quarter to 29,600 vehicles, the State Statistics Committee said Thursday.

First-quarter imports were worth $244.2 million, compared with $140 million in the first quarter last year.

Russia imported 23,900 cars worth $228.7 million from countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States, up from 15,000 cars worth $132.9 million in the first quarter last year.

Car exports totaled 26,600 cars worth $80 million, up from 21,500 cars worth $73.7 million in the same period last year.

Ukraine to Slash Tax

KIEV (Reuters) -- Ukraine's government plans to halve income tax in 2003 to help create a middle class and dent the rapid growth of its black economy, Finance Minister Ihor Yushko said Wednesday.

Yushko said the government would reduce hefty taxes for individuals to boost purchasing power in the country, where analysts estimate the unofficial economy to be of almost the same size as that of the official economy.

The Finance Ministry said it would set income tax rates at 10, 15 and 20 percent. It compares with current rates of 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 percent, with Ukrainians earning more than $320 a month having to pay the top level.

Wheat Exports Rise

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia exported 1.06 million tons of wheat to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States in the first quarter of this year, according to State Customs Committee data released Thursday.

Russia exported just 800 tons of wheat to non-CIS countries in January to March 2001, the data published on the committee's web site,, showed.

Wheat imports from non-CIS states in the first three months of this year were 2,734 tons, having declined from 8,858 tons in the first quarter of 2001.

The data showed increased imports of meat, poultry, maize, coffee, tea, cocoa beans, cocoa products and sunflower oil from countries outside the CIS in January to March on a year-on-year basis.

Imports of sugar were the exception, with raws imports declining to 992,823 tons from 1.34 million and non-CIS whites to 11,257 tons from 71,221 tons.

For the Record

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has signed a government ruling hiking the oil export duty to $20.70 per ton from $9.20 now, the government said in a statement Thursday. (Prime-Tass)

Ferrous metals imports fell 40.5 percent year on year in the first quarter to 122.6 million metric tons, the State Statistics Committee said in a report Thursday. (Prime-Tass)