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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gref Sees Stable Prices

Economic Trade and Development Minister German Gref said on Wednesday that inflation in the first 12 days of September was 0.1 percent and that prices would stay stable during the rest of the month.

"In the first 12 days, inflation was 0.1 percent, so prices have grown by 8.4 percent since the beginning of the year," Gref told deputies at the State Duma. In the whole of August, Russia registered deflation of 0.1 percent.

"During the current month we will most likely to have zero inflation, or small inflation if oil product prices stabilize." (Reuters)

IMF Sees Inflation Risks

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday expressed concern over Russia's draft 2006 budget, whose added spending provisions it said risked sparking inflationary pressures.

The budget, approved by the government last month, includes higher social, military and investment outlays. IMF spokesman Thomas Dawson said the global lender was worried about the impact of the planned fiscal loosening.

He said while past fiscal restraint had offset the impact of record-high oil prices for Russia, the new spending provisions had raised new concerns. (Reuters)

Rosneft IPO Delay?

Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref on Wednesday signaled a possible delay in state oil firm Rosneft's planned London flotation, saying it may happen at the end of 2006 at the earliest.

Officials had previously said the initial public offering would take place by the end of 2006. But Gref told reporters: "If it [the IPO] happens, it will happen at the end of 2006 at the earliest."

Gref said the government was waiting for a fresh valuation of Rosneft due in by October. (Reuters)

Oil-Export Growth to Slow

Russia expects growth in oil exports to slow to about 3 percent from 2006 to 2008, Interfax reported, citing Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Andrei Sharonov.

Production growth will slow to 2 percent over the period, Interfax said.

Russia lowered its forecast for 2005 production growth to 3.3 percent last month. The ministry said at the time it expected oil production to rise to 474 million tons (9.5 million barrels per day) this year from 458.7 million tons. (Bloomberg)

Tatneft Oil Output Rises

Tatneft, the No. 6 oil producer, increased oil output by 1.7 percent in the first eight months of the year compared with a year ago, after it drilled new wells.

Crude oil production rose to 17 million metric tons (512,000 barrels per day) and the company drilled 230 new wells. (Bloomberg)

UES Bulgarian Plans

Unified Energy Systems has chosen which of two state-owned Bulgarian power plants it wants to buy, but may call off its agreement to buy either of the plants, the Dnevnik newspaper reported.

UES won a tender to buy the two plants, then was told by Bulgaria's anti-monopoly office it would be allowed to buy only one.

It prefers the plant in the town of Varna, and now has one week to decide whether to buy the plant, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources from the Industry and Energy Ministry. It may decide instead to buy neither, the newspaper said, after the monopoly office delayed the sale three times. (Bloomberg)

India Considers Russian Jets

BANGALORE, India -- India is considering a rival bid from Russia to sell naval surveillance and anti-submarine airplanes, even as it examines a U.S. offer of eight P3-C Orions, the country's naval chief said Wednesday.

Admiral Arun Prakash did not disclose which Russian model aircraft is being considered, but India's current maritime surveillance fleet comprises three Ilyushin-38s and eight Tupolev-142s. (AP)

Mazda Plans More Sales

FRANKFURT -- Japanese automaker Mazda is targeting the Russian market for more sales, citing growing demand there for its sedans and compacts.

"Demand is exceeding our capacity," Daniel Morris, Mazda's senior managing executive officer, told Dow Jones Newswires at the international auto show in Frankfurt.

He did not say whether the company would increase production. Another Mazda executive, Masahiro Moro, vice president of Mazda's selected markets and retail management division, said that the company said it would likely sell as many as 20,000 cars in Russia in the current fiscal year. (AP)

Siemens Hopes for ICE Deal

FRANKFURT -- Germany's Siemens still hopes to win a 1.5 billion euro ($1.8 billion) contract to supply high-speed trains to Russia despite media speculation that the railway's new chief may have other plans.

A spokesman for the Siemens Transportation Systems unit said on Wednesday the company was working on a joint development project with Russian Railways to establish what modifications might have to be made to the basic inter-city express, or ICE, model for Russia. (Reuters)

Alfa Plan Approved

Mobile phone operator VimpelCom said shareholders approved a plan to buy Ukrainian Radio Systems, Interfax reported on Wednesday.

Telenor, VimpelCom's second-biggest shareholder, opposed the expansion plans and said it would use courts to challenge the purchase, the news agency reported fromVimpelCom's extraordinary general meeting.

Alfa Telecom, VimpelCom's largest owner, has pushed for the operator to expand into Ukraine, where subscriber growth rates are faster than at home. (Bloomberg)

Severstal-Avto Gets Nod

Severstal-Avto, the country's No. 3 auto producer, received government permission to have as much as 20 percent of its stock traded internationally.

Severstal-Avto can have 6.85 million shares trade as depositary receipts, the nation's market regulator said in a statement. The company, based in Cherepovets, in southern Russia, has 34.3 million shares outstanding. (Bloomberg)

Dockers' Strike Ends

ST. PETERSBURG -- Dockers at key metals export port of St. Petersburg said on Wednesday that they had ended an industrial action that had forced metals producers to look for alternative routes.

"We have a proposal from the employer, which we approve and accept. We will sign it at a workers' conference on Sept. 21," Alexander Moiseenko, the head of a dockers union committee, said, adding that the port had resumed normal work. (Reuters)