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

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Reserves Decline

Foreign currency and gold reserves declined in the seven days to Aug. 19 as Russia made payments to the Paris Club of creditors.

The reserves decreased by $800 million in the week to $148.1 billion, the Central Bank said in a statement on Thursday. The reserves advanced $3.1 billion in the week to Aug. 12, according to the Central Bank. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil's Baltic Exports

ST. PETERSBURG -- Russia's largest oil producer, LUKoil, will cut crude oil exports from September via its Baltic Sea port of Vysotsk, as very high export duties prompt it to switch to oil products exports.

"LUKoil will export between 25,000 to 40,000 tons in September. In September, we will load the first cargo with crude from TNK-BP," a Vysotsk official said Thursday. (Reuters)

Chechnya Rosneft Refinery

Rosneft, the state oil company, will build a refinery in Chechnya, which has not processed oil since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Interfax reported, citing Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov.

The plant will be able to refine as much as 3 million tons of crude per year, the news service cited Abramov as saying in Moscow on Thursday. That is the equivalent of about 60,000 barrels per day. (Bloomberg)

Italians Aim at Defense Deal

MILAN, Italy -- Finmeccanica general manager Giorgio Zappa said Italy's largest defense company is aiming to win half of Russia's market for encrypted communications equipment.

Finmeccanica plans to sell its Tetra secure communications system to Russia's armed forces and police.

"We expect to capture half of a market worth at least 8 billion euros," Zappa said in an interview on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 25th annual meeting of Comunione e Liberazione, a Catholic organization. (Bloomberg)

Vodka Trademark Ruling

Patent agency Rospatent has granted the rights to the disputed Cristall vodka trademark, known as "black label," to Soyuzplodoimport, Kommersant daily reported Thursday.

Soyuzplodoimport, which manages state-owned vodka brands, has been battling the Kristall group for the rights to the Cristall family of vodkas for the past two years.

"We have already forwarded a petition to Kristall, demanding it stops manufacturing contraband products," said Vladimir Loginov, head of Soyuzplodoimport, Kommersant reported.

Kristall plans to dispute Rospatent's decision, the company's head Sergei Zivenko said, calling the decision "another illegal move" by the agency. (MT)

Ukraina Hotel to Be Sold

City Hall is to auction off the Moscow's landmark Ukraina Hotel after an independent auditor establishes its market value.

A decree signed by Mayor Yury Luzhkov envisages the sale of a 100 percent stake in the hotel to an investor who will be required to renovate it, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday.

The 34-story, 74,000-square-meter hotel, completed in 1955 and located opposite the White House on the Moscow River, is one of the so-called "seven sisters" -- landmark skyscrapers erected under Stalin. (MT)

EU Intensifies Flu Measures

BRUSSELS -- The European Union will intensify surveillance of domestic and wild-bird populations to prevent an outbreak of bird flu from migrating into the 25-nation bloc.

The EU agreed to increase sampling on migratory waterfowl that could have the bird disease. The measures stop short of a general ban on keeping poultry outdoors.

"We clearly want to do our utmost to prevent the spread of this devastating epidemic to the EU,'' Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said in a statement issued in Brussels Thursday. (Bloomberg)

VimpelCom Q2 Results Up

The country's No. 2 mobile phone services provider, VimpelCom, reported on Thursday second-quarter results that surpassed analysts' expectations on all fronts.

VimpelCom said its second-quarter net profit rose to $158.84 million, while 11 analysts polled by Reuters expected it to be $146.7 million on average. (Reuters)

IMF on '05 Ukraine Growth

KIEV -- The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2005 forecast for GDP growth in Ukraine to 5.5 percent, from its earlier prediction of 7 percent, in a report made public on Thursday.

At the same time, the IMF also revised upward its forecast for 2006 growth to 5 percent of GDP from 4 percent in the report, summarizing the conclusions from a mission to Kiev this month. (Reuters)