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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Jobless Number Down

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The total number of unemployed people stood at 6.07 million as of May 1, down 3.9 percent on the month, according to data provided by the Federal Statistics Service Friday.

The figures were calculated using the methods of the International Labor Organization.

The number of officially registered jobless people fell 1 percent on the month to 1.65 million people, which accounts for 27.1 percent of the total number of unemployed people. Russia's labor force was estimated at 71.9 million at end of April, which is nearly 50 percent of the country's total population, the service said.

Incomes Keep Growing

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Russians' real disposable incomes rose 8.6 percent on the year and 3.7 percent on the month in April, the Federal State Statistics Service.

During the January-April period real incomes rose 11.5 percent compared to the same period of 2003.

Real disposable income is income adjusted according to the consumer price index, with mandatory payments deducted.

Russia's average monthly income per capita stood at 5,969 rubles ($206) in April, up 20.1 percent on the year, and 4.8 percent on the month. The nominal monthly wage stood at 6,556 rubles in April, up 27.4 percent on the year and 2 percent on the month.

The actual average monthly wage increased 15.6 percent on the year and 1 percent on the previous month. No absolute figures were provided.

Wage Arrears Fall

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Total wage arrears fell 7.2 percent in April to 24 billion rubles ($828 million) as of May 1, the Federal Statistics Service said Friday. Wage arrears resulting from a lack of financing from the federal, regional, and local budgets accounted for 10 percent of the figure. Arrears resulting from a lack of financing from the federal budget decreased 9.2 percent in April to 2.4 billion rubles as of May 1, while arrears caused by lack of companies' own funds decreased 6.9 percent to 21.6 billion rubles.

Of the total wage arrears resulting from a lack of financing from budgets, 11.9 percent is from the federal budget and 88.1 percent from the regional and local budgets, the agency said without providing absolute figures.

Producer Inflation Up

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Producer price inflation accelerated to 2.7 percent in April from 1.7 percent in March, the Federal Statistics Service said on Friday. Producer prices grew by 12.5 percent in the first four months of this year after rising 4.6 percent in the same period of 2003, the service said.

OPEC Stands Fast

AMSTERDAM (NYT) -- OPEC will make no immediate adjustments to its current quotas, despite Saudi Arabian lobbying to increase production levels to alleviate high prices.

Members of OPEC, the oil cartel that controls over one-third of the world's production, met Saturday in Amsterdam to discuss various proposals, but no changes will be decided on before a June 3 meeting in Lebanon, the organization's president, Purnomo Yusgiantoro of Indonesia, told reporters Saturday.

The meeting "was an opportunity to meet and formally exchange views," he said.

Gas Exports Up 6%

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Gazprom boosted exports to Western and Central Europe in April as clients bought more gas mainly under long-term contracts, the world's largest gas firm said Friday.

Gazprom, which supplies one-quarter of Europe's gas, said in a statement its exports in absolute terms rose by 6 percent in January-April 2004 year-on-year compared to an increase of 4.5 percent in January-March 2004 year-on-year.

February in 2004 was one day longer than in 2003, so daily exports rose by 5 percent in the first four months year-on-year compared to an increase of 3.5 percent in the first three months of 2004 year-on-year.

Markets on the Rise

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks rose for the first week in six, led by Sberbank, the nation's biggest bank, and Rostelekom, the dominant long-distance phone provider, amid optimism higher oil prices will boost economic growth.

The MICEX Index added 0.2 percent to 577.38, extending the weekly gain to 7.5 percent, outperforming the 51 national benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg. The RTS index shed 0.6 percent to 627.12, cutting the weekly advance to 5.1 percent.

Russia's 2004 economic growth may be upgraded to 8 percent after crude oil rose to a record high in New York last week, Alfa Bank said in a note to investors. Oil and gas account for about one-quarter of the economy. The government has forecast economic growth of 6.4 percent.

Stock Funds Inflow

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- Stock funds investing in Russia had their first net inflow in four weeks as the price of crude oil rose to a 21-year high, boosting the outlook for economic growth.

Russia-dedicated stock funds received $27 million in the week ending May 19, according to Boston-based, which tracks 12 funds with a combined $2 billion under management. East European funds overall had a net outflow of $347 million, the second-steepest in at least four years.

Companies from the oil and gas industry make up more than 70 percent of the stock market.

New Terminal Planned

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- State-owned oil firm Zarubezhneft wants to build a new 100,000-barrel-per-day oil product terminal on the Black Sea to win business from multiple private shippers near Novorossiisk.

The head of state-owned firm Zarubezhneft, Nikolai Tokarev said the firm agreed to study the idea after a request from local authorities.

"The local administration has asked us to study the idea of this terminal to introduce some order to oil products trade in Novorossiisk," Tokarev said in an interview. "After having analyzed the proposal we decided the idea was interesting and have started to work on it."

Tokarev said the company had already acquired a vast piece of land near Novorossiisk and hoped that a new 5-million-ton gas oil and fuel oil terminal could start operations in three years.

Novorossiisk, Russia's biggest oil export outlet, receives around 1 million bpd of Urals crude via state pipeline monopoly Transneft.

Interest in Turkish Pipe

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- TNK-BP and Tatneft, the country's sixth-largest oil producer, may pledge oil for a pipeline through Turkey to bypass the Bosporus Straits and ease tanker traffic, the state-run pipeline monopoly said.

Transneft is seeking to participate in the project to build a 163-kilometer link from Kiykoy on the Black Sea to the Mediterranean port of Ibrikhaba, at a cost of $900 million. The link would be able to haul 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.

Transneft Plans Boost

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) --Transneft said it will boost the capacity of its Baltic port 9.5 percent in August.

Domestic and international oil producers have criticized Transneft for not building enough export capacity to accommodate the country's rising production. "We always have problems with export capacity," Transneft CEO Semyon Vainshtok told reporters.

The company plans to raise the capacity of the oil terminal in Primorsk, near St. Petersburg, to 46 million tons a year (924,000 barrels per day) in August, from 42 million tons. The port's capacity will reach 1 million barrels per day by the end of the year.

RBK to Sell Shares

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- RosBusinessConsulting, a television and Internet news service, plans to sell shares next month that could generate about $30 million in proceeds as it seeks to raise capital to fund acquisitions.

The company plans to sell 15 million existing shares, or 15 percent of the company, on June 17, said board chairman German Kaploun. The board hasn't determined a price for the sale, but it would likely be near the current $2 share price, Kaploun said.

Managers and board members, who own those shares, will use the proceeds to buy new stock at the same price, allowing RBK to raise capital, Kaploun said in the telephone interview. Russian law doesn't let new shares trade immediately, reducing their attractiveness to investors.

Oil Rig Stake to be Sold

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- OMZ, the country's biggest engineering company, agreed to sell a majority stake in its oil rig unit to the subsidiary's management for about $42.5 million as the parent company focuses on manufacturing equipment for power plants.

A stake of 85 percent in OMZ-Marine Oil and Gas Projects, or OMZ-MNP, will be sold to more than 40 of its managers, OMZ said in a statement. The unit owes $70 million to banks. OMZ said the unit was valued for the sale at 1.45 billion rubles ($50 million).