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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

EU Visit to Poland



BRUSSELS -- Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, whose country holds the European Union's presidency, will visit Warsaw on Friday for talks with Poland on a deadlock threatening to prevent the launch of talks on a strategic partnership agreement, a Finnish diplomat said Thursday.

Warsaw is blocking consensus in the 25-nation EU on a negotiating mandate for a new agreement due to be initiated at an EU-Russia summit in Helsinki on Nov. 24 in protest against a Russian ban on imports of meat from Poland. (Reuters)




Georgia on Russia WTO Bid



Georgia does not oppose Russian membership in the World Trade Organization provided its northern neighbor observes the trade bloc's "fundamental principles," the speaker of Georgia's parliament said, Interfax reported.

Nino Burjanadze said the WTO's principles were free trade and the free movement of goods and services and "in its dealings with Georgia, these principles have been broken. Economic sanctions and an effective blockade have been imposed," Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)




CNPC Deal Uncertain



Gazprom and China's CNPC still have not come close to agreement on a price for Russian gas supplies, Interfax reported Thursday.

"There is a very large difference between the price on the European market and the price being offered by China, so it will take a long time to draw these together," Interfax quoted Sergei Chelpanov, the deputy executive of Gazprom Export, as saying. (AP)




Gazprom's French Contracts



PARIS -- Gazprom, the world's No. 1 natural gas producer, has about 10 contracts to deliver gas in France's partially deregulated market, La Tribune reported, without saying where it got the information.

The company, which will officially announce its arrival on the French market Nov. 24, had started to deliver gas to some unidentified clients in October, the daily said. (Bloomberg)




Kazakhstan Calls Off Deal



Kazakhstan's energy minister called Thursday for urgent steps to block the agreed $1.9 billion purchase by China's Citic Group of Kazakh oil assets belonging to Canada-based Nations Energy, Interfax said.

"We should, or rather I should in the first place, take urgent measures to stop this agreement over Karazhanbasmunai," Energy and Natural Resources Minister Baktykozha Izmukhambetov said, the news agency reported. (Reuters)




Oil-Tanker Rates May Rise



The cost of shipping 80,000 tons of oil from terminals in the North Sea to European refineries may rise as exporters boost shipments by 11 percent from Primorsk, the country's No. 1 port for Urals crude supplies.

As many as 6 million tons of crude could be exported from the port next month as a tax cut entices traders to snap up the oil, said Jean-Francois Vincke, a freight trader with Riverlake Shipping in Geneva. (Bloomberg)




Pakistan, Russia Agreement



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan and Russia on Thursday agreed to promote bilateral relations and strengthen ties in various fields, including defense, trade, economic cooperation, railways, oil and gas.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Pakistani counterpart Khursheed Kasuri made the announcement after their talks in the capital, Islamabad, said state-run news agency, The Associated Press of Pakistan. (AP)




EBRD Head on Russia



FRANKFURT, Germany -- Misunderstandings between Russia and the West are growing because of a Western focus on political rather than economic reform, the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said Friday.

While Western investors are right to question the country's future after President Vladimir Putin steps down in 2008, they should not overlook its rapidly growing middle class, said Jean Lemierre, the president of the EBRD. (Reuters)




LUKoil Overseas Output



LUKoil, the country's No. 1 oil producer, plans to spend $27 billion in the next decade to boost overseas output sevenfold, LUKoil Overseas Holding chief Andrei Kuzyaev said Thursday.

LUKoil expects to raise non-Russian production of crude and natural gas to the equivalent of 800,000 barrels per day by 2017, Kuzyaev said. The company pumps about 110,000 bpd outside the country now. (Bloomberg)




EADS Airbus Stake



PARIS -- European Aeronautic, Defence & Space is in negotiations with several institutional investors from Dubai and Qatar to sell at least 20 percent of Airbus before the end of the year, Les Echos newspaper reported, citing unidentified people.

Executives of EADS, including Hans Peter Ring and Arnaud Lagardere, have met to discuss the transaction, the newspaper said. EADS would use the receipts from a sale to help fund the A350 program, the report said. (Bloomberg)




Chubais UES Stock



Unified Energy System CEO Anatoly Chubais owns about $18 million in shares of the national power utility, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Chubais acquired almost 0.05 percent of the company under an options program that began in June 2004, the newspaper said, citing the program. (Bloomberg)




Currency Reserves Gain



The country's foreign currency and gold reserves, the world's third largest, rose for a fourth straight week, equaling a record set in August before a prepayment of debt to the Paris Club of creditor nations, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The reserves advanced $2.8 billion to $277 billion in the week that ended Nov. 3. (Bloomberg)




Russian Post Revamp



The government will spend about $2 billion over five years to improve its mail system and slash delivery times to a maximum seven days from 20 now, the IT and Communications Ministry said Thursday.

State-run Russian Post will use its own money and loans to fund about two-thirds of the five-year program, the ministry said. (Bloomberg)




Boerse Interest in Russia



FRANKFURT -- Deutsche B?rse, which dropped its bid to acquire Euronext this week, wants to increase its presence in Russia, a senior executive said Thursday.

"We've been in the region since 1992. We have worked on a lot of regulatory and infrastructure projects and I think that is something we want to intensify," said Rainer Riess, the managing director of the Frankfurt stock exchange. (AP)