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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Severstal in Canada?

TORONTO (AP) -- Severstal has made an offer to buy Stelco, in what's believed to be one of several competing offers emerging for the restructuring but profitable Canadian steel producer.

Severstal -- the largest Russian producer of steel and metal products --made its intentions public Tuesday, when Stelco's board was scheduled to meet to start examining bids for all or parts of the company.

Severstal said it has offered to assume or refinance Stelco's secured debt, pay cash to Stelco's unsecured bond and trade creditors, contribute about 400 million Canadian dollars ($336 million), in capital improvements and work with the company and its union on pension issues.

Severstal in Estonia

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Steel giant Severstal has bought a major stake in a fuel oil terminal in Estonia to expand its oil and refined product shipping business in the Baltic country, the company said Tuesday.

Severstal's transportation unit, Severstaltrans, and the terminal, Estonian Oil Service, did not say in a joint statement how big the stake was, which was bought from previous owner, Dutch investment company Baltica Finance.

They did not disclose the price paid for the largest fuel oil terminal in Estonia, which loaded 5.8 million tons of heavy products in 2003.

Russian Crude in CPC

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- A ChevronTexaco-led oil pipeline venture started shipping Russian oil as the group seeks to increase supplies to world markets amid high international energy prices.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, or CPC, shipped its first oil produced in Russia, which was supplied by Surgutneftegaz, the country's fourth-largest oil producer. The pipeline venture shipped 2.1 million tons (about 497,000 barrels per day) of Kazakh crude in October, the CPC said in a statement.

The start of Russian oil shipments will allow transportation to rise to 600,000 barrels per day and "CPC will be able to exceed its full initial throughput capacity," the venture said.

Oil Exports at High?

MOSCOW (AP) -- Oil exports may decrease within two years, a top oil industry expert warned Tuesday.

Yury Shafranik, head of the Russian Oil and Gas Industrialists' Union and a former energy minister, said the International Energy Agency forecasts that the country will sustain oil production growth for the next two or three years, after which it is likely to decline, Interfax reported.

"Oil production has almost peaked, and further growth is only possible if price trends are good, so exports will be automatically restricted two years from now," Shafranik was quoted as saying.

Shafranik cautioned that Russia still possesses unexplored oil fields and he said production could be sustained by direct foreign investment.

High-Speed Rail Plans

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Russian Railways Co., or RZD, and Germany's Siemens have decided to establish a joint venture based in Moscow to produce new generation fast trains using Siemens technology, RZD said Tuesday.

RZD president Gennady Fadeyev and members of Siemens' managing board Edward Krubasik and Rudi Lamprecht drew up a draft agreement on the joint venture during negotiations Monday in Munich, RZD said.

It is expected that the first train will be produced in 2007 and have a maximum speed of 230 kilometers per hour.

The trains will be used on the Moscow-St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg-Helsinki routes. In future, they will also be used on the routes between Moscow and Rostov-on-Don and Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, according to RZD. Fadeyev said in July that a high-speed rail link between Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Moscow is to be built by 2008.

Ban on Peruvian Meat

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- The government banned animals, meat and animal-feed imports from Peru after reported cases of foot-and-mouth disease.

The indefinite ban was imposed Tuesday, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement. The authorities will allow imports of fish and sea products from those areas of Peru where the disease has not been registered.

Russia also on Friday banned imports of some animals and meat, including beef, from the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Andalusia, the ministry said.

Rosneft Reorganization

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- State-owned oil producer Rosneft will transfer most of its oil exports to Gazprom's exporting arm Gazexport when it is taken over by Gazprom, Rosneft CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov said in an interview with Vedomosti published Tuesday.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller named Bogdanchikov last week to lead Gazpromneft, the oil unit to be formed from Rosneft. Gazpromneft may keep the right to export some of the fuels it extracts, such as gas condensate. Rosneft currently exports through the port of Arkhangelsk, Vedomosti cited Bogdanchikov as saying.

Minority shareholders of Rosneft's subsidiaries may remain invested in the units, whose gas-producing operations will move to other Gazprom subsidiaries in exchange for Gazprom's oil-producing businesses, Bogdanchikov told the paper. Gazprom may buy out minority shareholders who do not want to keep their stakes, he said.

Gazprom is taking over Rosneft in a swap that will leave the government, Gazprom's largest shareholder, with more than half of the gas company.

Slovaks Upgrade MiGs

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) --Slovakia will upgrade its Russian-made combat aircraft to meet NATO standards, an official said Tuesday.

The Defense Ministry plans to have its 12 MiG-29 jet fighters modernized by the end of next year with new communications and other systems needed for pilots to fly with NATO air forces, said Defense Ministry spokesman Martin Kovalik.

A contract to modernize the planes would be signed with Moscow-based RSK MiG, the aircrafts' producer, by the end of this year, Kovalik said. He said the Slovak military plans to use the aircraft, made in the late 1980s, for about another ten years. Kovalik declined to provide the value of the deal.

Alrosa Eurobond Sale

LONDON (Reuters) -- State-owned diamond monopoly Alrosa plans to sell a $300 million 10-year eurobond but has lowered its price guidance to the 9 percent area from 9.13 percent, a market source familiar with the details said Tuesday.

Initial price guidance on Monday put yield on the issue at 9.13 percent, according to a market source.

ING and J.P. Morgan are joint lead and bookrunners on the deal.