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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Money Laundering

MOSCOW (MT) -- The State Duma on Thursday passed in first reading a raft of amendments to the money laundering law, which will bring the present law in line with the convention on combating terrorist financing, Interfax reported Thursday.

The amendments entail the monitoring of all transactions involving parties linked to terrorism and will also give authorities the power to shut down suspicious operations for as long as a week while checks are carried out, Interfax said.

Yukos: Q1 Gloomy

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Low oil prices will weaken oil companies' first-quarter 2002 results compared to the first quarter of the previous year, Yukos chief financial officer Bruce Misamore told reporters Thursday.

"The first-quarter numbers of Russian companies will be significantly worse than they were a year ago, if you just look at oil prices and domestic prices. Prices have significantly recovered in Q2 on the domestic market," he said. "Where Yukos differs significantly from other Russian firms is that our increasing oil production can partly compensate for lower oil prices."

Yukos plans to boost oil output to 1.4 million barrels per day in 2002.

The company posted full-year 2001 net profits of 104.64 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) after 111.30 billion rubles the previous year.

Misamore said the company would publish first-quarter accounts to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles in late July.

Tax Reregistration

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The Tax Ministry will start reregistering foreign entities that are Russian tax residents at the end of the year, a senior ministry official said Thursday.

Tax registration rules for foreign entities in Russia differed in the period prior to and after 2000, and the ministry wants to create a single database of such entities, Mikhail Shyenok, deputy head of the international tax relations department, said. He added that foreign entities registered prior to 2000 would have to receive a new tax identification number.

Spending Review

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The State Duma on Thursday voted to review 2002 budget spending, allocating some 38.9 billion rubles ($1.24 billion) in extra funds for the regions and military wages.

Deputies backed the amendments in a key second reading by 263-45, with the third and final reading expected to be held Monday.

The government had initially planned to increase military salaries from 2003, but the Duma voted earlier this year to raise wages from July 1.

Bond Approval

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The State Duma is likely to approve the amendment to the 2002 budget enabling the government to issue bonds worth 42 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) this year, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Thursday.

The bonds would be used to purchase a 99.95 percent stake in major Vneshtorgbank from the Central Bank.

Ex-CTC Head to THT

MOSCOW (MT) -- CTC general director Roman Petrenko has quit the television channel to head NTV's sister THT television network and serve as Gazprom-Media's deputy head for marketing, Gazprom-Media general director Boris Jordan said.

Petrenko, a former advertising industry executive who spearheaded CTC's drive to become the first national television network to make profit in 2001, lost his job earlier this year when shareholders decided to change the concept of the channel from strictly youth-oriented to one vying for a broader audience.

Spending Growth

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The growth of state spending should not exceed the country's economic growth, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said at a regular government meeting Thursday.

He said the government had completed its consideration of the 2003 budget's key parameters, adding that the government viewed its key goals as reducing annual inflation to 10 percent to 12 percent, completing the tax reform, and dividing revenues and spending among the federal and regional budgets.

Domodedovo Rail Link

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Moscow Railways plans to start a high-speed service between the Paveletsky Station and Domodedovo Airport on Aug. 1, deputy head of the city's railway system Sergei Kozyrev said Thursday.

Kozyrev said the line will be serviced by new, comfortable trains, capable of traveling at 140 kilometers per hour.

The airport's managing company, East Line, is financing the reconstruction of a Paveletsky departure and arrival area to service the new line, Kozyrev said.

Oil Export Link

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov this week approved a project to build a new oil product export link and a terminal on the Gulf of Finland, which will ship up to 10 million tons of gas oil to world markets.

The government said Thursday the resolution signed by Kasyanov authorizes the state products pipeline monopoly Transnefteproduct to use its own funds and attract loans to implement the project.

Mosenergo Up, Down

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Mosenergo sold 15.704 billion rubles ($499 million) worth of electric power to consumers in January to May, up 11.9 percent year on year, deputy CEO Vitaly Kuzmin said Thursday.

At the same time, Mosenergo saw its January to May sales to power distributors falling 303.01 million kilowatt-hours or 8.3 percent.