Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Paris Club Negotiations

LONDON -- The Paris Club of creditor nations is ready to accept early repayment of debts owed by Russia at par, officials involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.

One source said German Deputy Finance Minister Caio Koch-Weser would discuss the issue with Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin in Moscow on Thursday. (Reuters)

PMI Hits 7-Month High

The headline purchasing managers' index for the services sector showed its strongest gain in seven months in March, Moscow Narodny Bank said Tuesday.

The services sector PMI headline figure rose to 58.3 in March from 56.9 in February, above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction, with business activity and new business driving the gain. (Reuters)

State Limits Bank Growth

The rate of growth in the banking sector slowed last year due to tougher supervision measures and a crisis of confidence in the summer, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said the government and the Central Bank hoped to raise the ratio of bank assets to gross domestic product to 56 percent to 60 percent by 2010 from 42 percent last year.

In addition, Zhukov said the government would push for consolidation of banks by easing the procedures for mergers and acquisitions in the sector. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

Capital Flight Up in '04

Russia saw a fourfold increase in private capital flight last year over 2003 and outflows continued in the first quarter of 2005, Central Bank data showed Monday.

Net capital outflow from the private sector jumped to $9.4 billion in 2004 from $1.9 billion in 2003, while the figure for the first quarter of 2005 totaled $900 million, compared with a net outflow of $4.2 billion in the first quarter of 2004. (Reuters)

Khodorkovsky Trial Closing

Lawyers for Mikhail Khodorkovsky began summing up the defense case Tuesday for the jailed oil tycoon, who faces up to a 10-year sentence in what is widely seen as a Kremlin-directed trial.

The head of the defense team, Genrikh Padva, argued that the state prosecutor had failed to demonstrate that the former CEO of the fallen Yukos oil company had committed any crime.

Prosecutors closed their case last week, demanding the maximum 10-year term for Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev for embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion and other charges related to Yukos. (AP)

Yukos Unit Fuel Sales

Petroval, Yukos' oil-trading unit, sold 484,000 tons of shipping fuel in Antwerp, Belgium, and Rotterdam, Netherlands, during the three months ended March 31, as it kept selling oil products after defaulting on deliveries of crude.

Petroval sold 120,000 tons of boat fuel directly to ship owners from its Rotterdam terminal in the period, the company said in a statement on its web site dated April 1. It sold another 364,000 tons to operators of bunker terminals, who will resell the fuel to tankers. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom '04 Dividend

Gazprom asked the government for permission to raise its 2004 dividend by 45 percent, Vedomosti reported, citing two unidentified company officials.

Gazprom wants to pay shareholders a total of 23.5 billion rubles ($840 million), up from the 16.3 billion rubles paid in 2003, the newspaper said.

The government probably will not agree to the higher payout, Vedomosti said, citing unidentified officials from the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. Last year, Gazprom wanted to pay shareholders 31 billion rubles for 2003, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Banca Intesa Stake in KMB

Italy's Banca Intesa is close to acquiring a controlling stake in Russia's KMB Bank, The Wall Street Journal reported, according to unidentified people close to the situation.

The acquisition values the Russian bank at $120 million, the Journal said.

Banca Intesa beat offers from Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas, the Journal said. (Bloomberg)

CPC Shipments Up 63%

LONDON -- A ChevronTexaco-led group raised average daily oil shipments 63 percent in the first quarter through a pipeline from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea after Russian producers started to ship crude.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium exported 7.44 million tons (606,000 barrels per day) in the first quarter, up from 4.62 million tons (372,000 bpd) in the same period last year, the venture said Tuesday. Shipments in March were 2.72 million tons, close to a record high. (Bloomberg)