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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Power Grid Proposal

The government may reduce control over the federal grid company, which would operate the country's power transmission after the breakup of national utility Unified Energy Systems, Vedomosti reported.

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry has proposed to limit the state's control over the federal grid company to 52 percent, Vedomosti said, citing the ministry's plan for UES breakup in 2005 through 2008, submitted to the government. Russia had planned to own 75 percent plus one share in the federal grid, according to the paper.

Minority shareholders would stimulate effective work of the new transmission unit, Vedomosti reported, citing the ministry. (Bloomberg)

Transneft Exports Down

Transneft will export 1.2 million tons of crude oil less than planned in April, as oil producers have not fulfilled commitments to fill the pipeline system, Prime-Tass reported, citing an unidentified Transneft official.

The 1.2 million ton shortfall is the equivalent of 293,000 barrels per day of crude exports. Transneft deputy CEO Sergei Grigoryev was not available at his office Monday. (Bloomberg)

Oil to China Down

Oil producers have contracted to ship 680,000 tons (161,000 barrels per day) of crude oil to China by rail in May, down from the 740,000 tons planned for this month, said Russian Railways, or RZD.

LUKoil, the country's largest oil producer, applied to ship 100,000 tons of crude to China next month, and state-owned Rosneft plans to export 300,000 tons, RZD said in a statement Monday. Yukos expects to sell 250,000 tons of oil to the Asian state, and Sibneft plans to export 30,000 tons.

RZD plans to transport 10 million tons of crude to China this year, the company said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Hearing Delayed

A Moscow court has postponed a hearing into a $5.88 billion claim by state oil firm Rosneft against the stricken Yukos oil major to May 24, Interfax reported Monday.

Rosneft says Yukos underpaid for oil supplied by Yuganskneftegaz, once part of Yukos but now owned by Rosneft, but the case is widely seen as part of a Kremlin-backed effort to destroy the empire of Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The hearing only covers a portion of the total tax claim against Yukos, which includes 141 billion rubles ($5.1 billion) for tax claims in 1999-2003 and 167 billion rubles in losses carried by Yugansk, Interfax quoted a Yukos source. (Reuters)

Sakhalin Gas to Khabarovsk

The ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin-1 venture plans to deliver its first gas to the Khabarovsk region in the third quarter as the partners expand their project on the Sakhalin Island shelf.

"Everything is going well and it's expected that the first Sakhalin gas will be delivered already in the third quarter," Stephen Terni, president of project operator Exxon Neftegaz, told Khabarovsk Governor Viktor Ishayev on Monday, according to a regional administration statement posted on its web site. (Bloomberg)

$1.7Bln Loan for MMK

Sberbank is ready to lend No. 2 steelmaker Magnitogorsk Metal and Steel Works, or MMK, 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion), Vedomosti reported, citing Sberbank CEO Andrei Kazmin.

MMK will spend the funds on its investment program, Kazmin told Interfax after being elected to MMK's board on Friday, Vedomosti reported.

Kazmin gave no other details of the loan, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Severstal Raises Dividends

The board of steel firm Severstal is recommending dividends of 3 rubles (11 cents) for the fourth quarter of 2004 and 4 rubles for the first quarter of 2005, the company said Monday.

"Severstal has surprised on the upside," analysts at UFG said in a research note.

They said last month that they expected a fourth quarter payout of 10 cents per ordinary share.

The fourth quarter payout will bring the total for 2004 to around $345 million, while the dividend for the first quarter of 2005 will bring shareholders a further $80 million. (Reuters)

$254M Tire Deal

Amtel Holdings Holland, the parent company of Russian tiremaker Amtel, announced on Monday that it had acquired Dutch-based tire manufacturer Vredestein Banden for 195.6 million euros ($254 million).

"We believe that this acquisition will contribute significantly to the successful development of Amtel as a pan-European company," Sudhir Gupta, chairman of Amtel's supervisory board, said in a statement.

Total production capacity of the Amtel Group, including Vredestein Banden, amounts to around 22 million tires per year, the company said. (MT)