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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Russia Repays Part of Debt

Russia spent 430 billion rubles ($15 billion) of its so-called stabilization fund, created to store windfall oil revenue, to repay early its debt to the Paris Club of creditor nations, Interfax said, citing the Finance Ministry.

The fund declined to 617.9 billion rubles in June as Russia began paying off the debt ahead of schedule.

Russia's government in May agreed to repay about $15 billion in debt early to governments including Germany, its largest trading partner. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft to Get Yukos Fields?

Rosneft may take over east Siberian fields belonging to a Yukos unit because Yukos cannot afford to develop them, Vedomosti said, citing Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref.

The fields, which belong to Yukos' East Siberian Oil, hold 100 million tons of proven oil reserves, the paper said.

At a meeting in Krasnoyarsk, Gref urged Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov to invest in the east Siberian fields after a deputy governor of the Siberian region said Yukos was not able to pay salaries, the daily said. (Bloomberg)

Iran in Caspian Exploration

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran will begin oil exploration operations in the Caspian Sea next week, the Iran Daily newspaper reported, citing a country's oil official.

Tender documents for the exploration project will be prepared within a month, Hassan Mohammadi-Moqaddam, managing director of Oil Exploration Operations, told the daily. It will take Iran about two years to produce oil from the Caspian Sea, Iran Daily reported. (Bloomberg)

Magnitogorsk H1 Dividend

YEKATERINBURG -- The board of steelmaker Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, or MMK, is proposing that the company pay its first interim dividend, it said on Monday.

"The board of directors will issue its recommendation on the size of the dividend on July 15," MMK spokeswoman Yelena Azovtseva said.

The steel giant will decide whether to pay dividends for the first half of 2005 at a shareholders' meeting on Aug. 30. (Reuters)

Volgotanker Loses Appeal

Samara region's arbitration court last week rejected Volgotanker's appeal of a 2001 back tax bill totaling more than $20 million, Interfax reported Monday, citing an anonymous source.

The region's tax authorities are preparing a new bill for 2002 and may also claim payments for 2003 after they finish that year's audit, the source told the news agency. Total tax claims against Russia's largest oil shipper in barges may eventually top 1 billion rubles ($35 million), the source said. (MT)

Evraz to Get Czech Plant?

PRAGUE -- The Czech government is likely to sell steel maker Vitkovice Steel to Evrazholding despite a last minute attempt from Mittal Steel to outbid its rival, government officials said on Monday.

Mittal Steel launched a counter bid for Vitkovice Steel, one of Europe's biggest producers of heavy plates.

Mittal said in a statement it was ready to pay 9 billion crowns ($355 million), 2 billion crowns more than Evraz, which won a government tender last month. The government will discuss the sale on Wednesday. (Reuters)

VTB May Sell Shares in '06

Vneshtorgbank might sell shares to the public as soon as next year, Chief Executive Andrei Kostin said.

The government probably will sell "a substantial" part of its 100 percent stake in the bank within five years, Kostin said Monday.

The bank expects to start by selling shares in New York or London and may be able to start the initial public offering process as early as next year, he said. (Bloomberg)

Transaero's New Flights

Transaero airline on Sunday began operating flights on a Boeing 747 jet, the first time a Russian carrier has operated the jet.

The 468-seater jet, formerly operated by Virgin Atlantic, is the first out of the four the airline is due to receive this year, the company said in a statement Monday. Transaero will lease four Boeing 747 jets for five years, the company said.

The new aircraft will fly to Israel and popular vacation spots in Spain, Croatia and Tunis, as well as to cities in Southeast Asia and Latin America. (MT)

Hyundai Doubles H1 Sales

South Korea's Hyundai saw sales of its imported cars more than double in the first half of 2005, the automaker's official dealer, Karnet-2000, said Monday.

The dealer sold 19,805 cars in the first six months, compared with 9,776 vehicles sold in the same period last year. The compact Getz model, which sold 7,672 cars, was the carmaker's most popular import.

Hyundai also assembles its Accent and Sonata sedans in Taganrog. (MT)

$77M St. Pete Mall Loan

VIENNA -- Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will lend 65 million euros ($77.4 million) to investors building a 72,000-square-meter shopping mall in St. Petersburg.

The 10-year loan will be granted after the project is finished in the third quarter of 2006, Raiffeisen said last week in a statement. (Bloomberg)

$1.2Bln Meinl Eurobond

VIENNA -- Meinl European Land, an Austrian real estate company, said it would issue a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) bond to expand its Eastern European property portfolio.

An initial 200 million euro portion will be sold in July, Meinl said last week in a statement. The 10-year bond will be available in 50,000 euro denominations. The company did not say what interest rate the bond would pay. (Bloomberg)