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

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

LUKoil Record Profits

LUKoil said that its 2004 profits rose 15 percent as the company boosted output and exports to tap soaring international prices.

Net income rose to $4.25 billion, or $5.13 per share, from $3.7 billion, or $4.25, a year earlier, the Moscow-based company said Wednesday in a statement.

In the last quarter of 2004 alone, LUKoil reported an 81 percent increase, when its income rose to $1.15 billion from $637 million a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

Volgotanker Execs Wanted

Russia put two Volgotanker executives on its wanted list, preventing owners of the country's largest river shipper from selling their stakes, Vedomosti said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the case.

Alexander Alexandrovich and Andrei Azarov were among six company executives suspected by prosecutors of fraud and money laundering earlier this year, the newspaper said. A Samara court later cleared the two men, who have left the country.

Authorities are claiming 1.15 billion rubles ($41 million) in back taxes from the 120-year-old company for 2001 to 2004. (Bloomberg)

Kiev Lifts Fuel Caps

Ukraine's government Wednesday ended restrictions on fuel prices after TNK-Ukraine, TNK-BP's Ukrainian unit, agreed to restart the country's largest refinery.

The government this month set a maximum price for 95-octane gasoline at 3.20 hryvnia (63 cents) per liter, 92-octane gasoline at 2.99 hryvnia per liter and diesel at 2.99 hryvnia per liter. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Cuts China Exports

LUKoil will cut exports to China by about a third this year to free rail space for state-owned Rosneft, Interfax reported, citing LUKoil CEO Vagit Alekperov.

LUKoil will send about 2 million tons to China this year by rail, the only direct oil link between the two countries, instead of the 3 million tons originally planned, Interfax cited lkeperov as saying.

Rosneft will supply China with 10 million tons of oil this year via national rail monopoly Russian Railways. (Bloomberg)

MMK's Coal Troubles

Magnitogorsk Metal & Iron Works, or MMK, cannot use coal from its new mine in Siberia because local authorities will not let the steelmaker build road and rail links to transport the fuel, Vedomosti said.

Local prosecutor Vadim Ushakov said the routes would destroy forest land, the newspaper said.

Magnitogorsky, the country's No. 2 steelmaker, closed one of its eight furnaces on May 16 and may shut two more by June 10 after its suppliers stopped shipments of iron pellets. (Bloomberg)

VSMPO Eyes Renova Stake

VSMPO, the world's biggest titanium maker, wants to buy 13 percent of Renova, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's holding company, Interfax reported.

The stake is for sale for $148 million, VSMPO chairman Vyacheslav Bresht told a metals conference in London.

VSMPO plans to produce 28,500 metric tons of titanium this year, rising to 34,000 tons by 2009 after its acquisition of Avisma, which supplies it with titanium sponge. (Bloomberg)

Irkut '04 Payout

The board of directors of warplane maker Irkut has recommended paying a dividend of 10 kopeks per share for 2004, up from 4 kopeks a year earlier, Irkut said Wednesday, without providing any further details.

Irkut, whose shares are traded on the Moscow bourse, is currently in talks with European aerospace group EADS to sell it a stake of up to 10 percent. (Reuters)

Yuzhtelecom '04 Dividend

The board of regional telecoms company Yuzhtelecom will recommend cutting 2004 dividends to 0.9 kopeks per ordinary share and 2.8 kopeks per preferred share, the company said Wednesday.

Yuzhtelecom, which services Russia's south, paid 8.1 kopeks per ordinary share and 11.1 kopeks per preferred share on 2003 results.

Yuzhtelecom's 2004 net profit fell to 255.6 million rubles ($9.12 million) from 1.08 billion rubles in 2003 due to higher amortization costs and growing interest payments on funds borrowed for investment programs. (Reuters)

EBRD Timber Loan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or EBRD, is considering extending a 22.5 million euro loan to Svir Timber to build a sawmill in the town of Podporozhye in the Leningrad Region, the EBRD said in a press release Wednesday.

The final decision is expected on June 28, when the EBRD's board of directors will consider the issue. (Prime-Tass)