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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

China Nuclear Deal?

BEIJING (Prime-Tass) -- Russia is interested in broadening its civil nuclear power cooperation with China and plans to take part in a tender to build two more nuclear reactors for China in Jiangsu Tianwan, Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Monday.

Rumyantsev was speaking after talks on the issue with Chinese officials, Itar-Tass reported.

Russia is currently building two nuclear reactors at the site under a $3 billion deal.

Commenting on the construction of the two reactors, Rumyantsev said: "We are fulfilling all obligations. We are ensuring high quality during the construction and I believe we will win the tender for the third and fourth reactors at the Tianwan nuclear power plant."

Silver Duty May Go

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The government may scrap a 6.5 percent export tariff on silver to help domestic producers, an Economic Development and Trade Ministry spokesman said Monday.

Konstantin Bogdanov said the Commission for Protective Measures in Foreign Trade, a government panel responsible for drafting resolutions on customs tariffs, decided Monday to recommend that the government abolish the tariff. But he could not say when it would be removed.

NRB Stock Buyback

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- A deal for a group of shareholders to buy back a 37 percent stake in National Reserve Bank from Gazprom is "almost completed," NRB board chairman Alexander Lebedev said Monday.

He said the consortium, comprised of NBR's managers and extraneous investors, has swapped an unspecified amount of cash and a stake in Gazprom, which formerly belonged to the NRB, for Gazprom's 37 percent in the bank.

The sale is in line with Gazprom's plans to shed its noncore assets and focus on its gas business.

Avtobank Stake

MOSCOW (MT) -- Avtobank's supervisory board on Monday backed a majority group of shareholders in requesting that the Central Bank allow a stake in Avtobank to be sold to NIKoil Savings, a management company within the NIKoil financial group.

The board is controlled by NIKoil.

NIKoil has been planning to merge a majority stake in the bank, which was taken over by Millhouse, Base Element and Nafta-Moskva last year from Andrei Andreyev.

Last month, the Interior Ministry's investigative committee cleared the way for a sale by unfreezing a 65 percent stake in Avtobank, which was seized after Andreyev claimed the bank, and other assets, had been stolen from him.

The supervisory board also accepted Avtobank chairman Vladimir Ryskin's resignation.

Alrosa Bond

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Uncut diamond monopoly Alrosa has paid 45.414 million rubles ($1.4 million) on executing the buyback offer on its series seven bonds, an official with Alfa Bank said Monday.

Alfa Bank is the issue's underwriter and payment agent.

The bond issue, worth 600 million rubles, was placed on July 5, 2001.

The two-year bonds are to be redeemed July 3, 2003. The bonds carry quarterly coupons with a yield based on the yield of government bonds.

$25M Glass Plant

VLADIMIR, Central Russia (Prime-Tass) -- Italian construction material producer Tanex-M plans to invest $25 million in building a plant to produce glass blocks for construction in the Vladimir region, an official with the regional administration said Monday.

To implement the project, Tanex-M plans to create a 100 percent subsidiary in the region, the official said.

The plant will be capable of producing up to 100,000 glass blocks per year and is expected to be launched this year.

Tougher Import Laws

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The Commission on Protective Measures in Foreign Trade approved Monday the introduction of tougher regulations over imports of goods by individuals, said Gennady Yezhov, spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

The commission approved a draft ruling that obliges individuals to pay 30 percent of the goods' customs value but not less than 4 euros ($3.90) per kilogram in import duty for goods with a total weight of more than 50 kilograms or value of more than $1,000, excluding automobiles, Yezhov said.

Steel Tariffs

MOSCOW (MT) -- Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov last week slapped antidumping tariffs on galvanized steel imports from Ukraine and Kazakhstan of 31.8 percent and 36.9 percent respectively, Interfax reported.

The sanctions will be in place for four months while the Economic Development and Trade Ministry carries out an investigation.

Ruble Edges Down

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The ruble edged down against the dollar on Monday on a market awash with the local currency while export revenues sales are seasonally low, dealers said.

The ruble's weighted average for today settlement fell to 31.5300 to the dollar in official early trade from 31.5156 on Friday.

For the Record

The passenger traffic of No. 2 airline Sibir rose 57.6 percent year on year to 1.083 million passengers in January to June, the company said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Japanese auto manufacturer Honda Motors sold 507 cars in Russia through its official dealerships in the first half of the year, up 50 percent year on year, a company official said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

The car sales of Japan's Mitsubishi Motors in Russia rose 41 percent year on year to 3,559 cars in the first half of the year, an official with Rolf Holding, Mitsubishi's official Russian dealership, said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Yaroslavl-based brewer Yarpivo's beer sales rose 41 percent year on year in January to June to 23.5 million decaliters, the company said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Fitch Ratings said Monday it had upgraded the long-term foreign currency ratings of the republic of Komi to B+, citing a low debt burden and strong fiscal performance. (Reuters)

The output of gold producers in the republic of Sakha rose 10.2 percent year on year to 5.7 tons in the first half of the year, a Sakha government official said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

The output of gold producers in the Khabarovsk region rose 54.7 percent year on year in January to June to 7.489 tons, the regional government's natural resources department head, Gennady Pecherevin, said Monday. (Prime-Tass)

Russia's external debt decreased by $1.2 billion to $131.9 billion in the first quarter of 2002, the Finance Ministry said in a statement Monday. Domestic debt increased slightly by 500 million rubles ($16 million) to 531.6 billion rubles. (MT)

Fitch ratings agency expects Russia's gross domestic product to increase 4 percent this year and 4.5 percent in 2003, the agency said in a report released Monday. (Prime-Tass)