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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Producer Price Rise Slows

Producer price growth slowed threefold in October from September to a monthly 0.9 percent, after fuel producers agreed to government demands to keep prices stable on the domestic market. Producer prices rose a preliminary annual 17.6 percent, slowing from 18.6 percent in August, the State Statistics Service said Monday in a statement.

The increase was less than the median monthly forecast of 1.1 percent by 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg from Oct. 26 to Oct. 31.

An increase in producer prices fuels consumer inflation. (Bloomberg)

2005 Inflation at 11%

Consumer prices will rise by no more than 11 percent in 2005 if inflation amounts to 0.8 percent in November and 0.8 to 0.9 percent in December, Deputy Central Bank Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said on Monday.

"We calculate assuming November inflation at the level of 0.8 percent, and possibly 0.8 to 0.9 percent in December," Ulyukayev told the parliament. "This way we end up with inflation within 11 percent at the year end." Inflation was 11.7 percent in 2004. (Reuters)

October Retail Sales Up

Retail sales rose more than twice faster in October than the previous month, as increasing prices for oil fueled spending and banks offered more loans to consumers.

Retail sales rose a monthly 3.8 percent in October, after gaining 1.7 percent in September, the Federal Statistics Service said in a statement Monday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Bill

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry has given the government documents regarding legal changes needed to remove limits on foreign ownership of Gazprom shares, Interfax reported Monday, citing Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Kirill Androsov.

The State Duma will hold its first reading of the bill on Nov. 23, Interfax reported on Wednesday, citing Valery Yazev, chairman of the Duma's Energy, Transportation and Communications Committee. (Bloomberg)

Ukrainian Gas Supply

LONDON -- The government said some "complexities" arose during negotiations with Ukrainian authorities over a natural-gas supply contract, as Russia seeks to increase prices for exports of the fuel.

Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko held talks with Ukrainian counterpart Ivan Plachkov in Kiev over gas deliveries and shipments through Ukrainian pipelines to Europe next year, the Russian ministry said Monday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Crude Oil to Ukraine

Russia will reduce crude oil deliveries to refineries in Ukraine by 25 percent to 30 percent this year, Interfax said Monday, citing Ukraine's energy minister.

Russia will ship between 16 million and 17 million tons of oil this year (between 320,000 and 342,000 barrels per day), compared with 22 million tons in 2004, Interfax reported, citing Ukrainian Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov in Kiev.

Russia will increase supplies to Ukraine next year to 22 million tons and export more crude oil through the country, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Gas to Georgia

LONDON -- Kazakhstan's state-owned oil and gas company KazMunaiGaz plans to export 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Georgia from as early as Jan. 1 if it gets approval from Gazprom, which will help transport the fuel.

"The key issue to implement these plans is the price of the supplied gas, which will require additional agreement between Georgia and Russia," KazMunaiGaz said in a statement on Saturday.

Gazprom will pump the Kazakh gas through pipelines transiting Russian territory. The Moscow-based company in September notified the Georgian government about plans to "deliver gas at market prices, which correspond to European levels." (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Oil to Lithuania

LONDON -- KazMunaiGaz, bidding to buy Lithuania's only refinery, said it would send crude in tankers to the plant if Russia refused to pump supplies through its pipelines, which carry most of Kazakhstan's exports.

KazMunaiGaz is concerned after oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said it might not let the Kazakh company transit oil through Russia's pipelines to Lithuania, the Kazakh company said Monday in a statement.

KazMunaiGaz plans to ship 12 million tons per year to Lithuania for a decade. (Bloomberg)

Transneft Dividend

Transneft may pay a 2004 dividend of 500 million rubles ($17.3 million) for its preferred shares, Interfax reported Monday, citing the Industry and Energy Ministry's press service. The total dividend is 15 percent of the company's net income. (Bloomberg)

EU Denies Alrosa Report

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The European Commission said it did not ask Russia's state-owned Alrosa, the world's second-biggest diamond producer, to stop gem sales to De Beers by the end of December 2007, refuting an earlier South African newspaper report.

"It's not true," said Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission in Brussels. "We're still looking at the agreement between Alrosa and De Beers." (Bloomberg)

More Evraz London Stock

TOKYO -- Steel major Evraz said on Monday that it might float more of its shares in London depending on market conditions and was looking into more steel acquisitions abroad.

"We have always considered such a possibility. It depends on market conditions," Evraz head Alexander Abramov said in Tokyo. (Reuters)

Carlsberg's Yarpivo Buy

COPENHAGEN -- Carlsberg has raised its stake in brewery Yarpivo through its jointly owned unit Baltic Beverages Holding, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten said Monday, citing unidentified Russian media.

Baltic Beverages Holding -- which Carlsberg owns with Scottish & Newcastle -- has raised its stake in Yarpivo to 87.5 percent from 61 percent, the newspaper said Monday.

Carlsberg declined to confirm the details of the transaction, though the company now owns "more than" 75 percent of Yarpivo, Jyllands-Posten quoted spokesman Jens Peter Skaarup as saying. (Bloomberg)

MiG, Irkut Merger

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Combat-plane maker MiG, which supplies fighter planes to India, will likely merge with rival Irkut, maker of Sukhoi fighter jets, by next year and seek a stock market listing.

Merging "will improve our competitiveness in the global market," Alexei Federov, director general of state-run Russian Aircraft Corp., known as MiG, said in an interview Monday at the Dubai Air Show.

Russia is planning to set up an aircraft company by next year that combines MiG and Irkut along with Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Tupolev and related engineering units and factories. (Bloomberg)

AvtoVAZ Board Candidates

Two representatives of Rosoboronexport, the state arms exporter, have been put forward as candidates for AvtoVAZ's board of directors, a source close to the carmaker told Interfax on Monday.

AvtoVAZ's board met earlier on Monday to pick 12 new candidates for the board, after last month's resignation of former chief Vladimir Kadannikov.

The two candidates from Rosoboronexport did not serve on the board previously, the source said. (MT)

Ukrainian Oil Reserve

Ukraine plans to set up a strategic reserve of petroleum products to ensure steady fuel supplies.

Ukraine included funds to pay for such a reserve in the government's 2006 spending plan, said Lilia Klochko, a spokeswoman for Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Imperial Energy Corp., an oil and gas explorer in Siberia and Kazakhstan, has agreed to buy the rest of Russia's Allianceneftegaz for $2.85 million. (Bloomberg)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is debating closing down all its operations in Uzbekistan because of the deteriorating political situation in the country, a senior bank official said on Monday. (Reuters)

LUKoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov said gasoline prices in Russia would continue to rise next year, maybe as much as 11 percent, Interfax reported Monday. (Bloomberg)