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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Putin Approves 2007 Budget

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday approved the 2007 budget, which assumes world oil prices will remain high in an election year and foresees a 25 percent spending increase, the Kremlin said.

The budget predicts revenues of 6.97 trillion rubles ($263 billion) and anticipates a budget surplus of 1.5 trillion rubles, or 4.8 percent of gross domestic product. Spending is earmarked at 5.46 trillion rubles, up 25 percent from 2006. (AP)

Auto Demand Up to $30Bln

Russians will spend $30 billion on cars this year, triple the amount five years ago, as continuous economic growth allows people to spend more on goods and services.

Russians are expected to buy 2 million cars this year, spending as much as $30 billion, according to preliminary estimates by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Sales of foreign models will reach 1 million, up from 128,000 in 2002, Pricewaterhouse said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft: No Share Sale Plans

Rosneft does not plan to sell more shares to the public because it does not need the money and has not begun assessing Yukos' assets, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing company CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov.

Talk of a new share sale is premature, and it is not clear why one would be needed, Bogdanchikov told reporters Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk Unites Share Issues

The world's top nickel producer, Norilsk Nickel, said Tuesday that two issues of its shares had been consolidated to ease investors' dealings in its stock.

"We initiated the consolidation because the circulation of two share issues had caused difficulties for market players," the company quoted head of investor relations Dmitry Usanov as saying in a statement. (Reuters)

Tatneft Wins Libyan Deal

Libya, which holds Africa's largest crude oil reserves, Wednesday awarded Tatneft and a joint consortium between Petro-Canada and Repsol YPF exploration rights in the center of the country.

The North African nation is auctioning rights to search in a total of 14 plots, both onshore and offshore. Representatives of about 50 companies are attending the auction in the capital city of Tripoli, the third held by Libya since the lifting of U.S. sanctions against the country at the end of 2004. (Bloomberg)

Capital Inflow Over $30Bln?

Net capital inflow into the country may exceed $30 billion this year, Interfax said, citing Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov.

Zhukov, who was speaking at the State Duma, also said foreign investment had grown 12.9 percent in the first 11 months, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Nuclear Safety Program

The government will create the country's first federal program to improve safety and security at its 10 nuclear power stations and earmark about $6.3 billion for the project, the Federal Atomic Energy Agency said.

The agency submitted to the government Wednesday a draft safety program through 2015 that will be accepted into the 2008 budget next year, the agency's deputy chief Andrei Malyshev said. (Bloomberg)

OGK-5 Fire Halts Two Units

A fire at the Reftinsk power plant in Sverdlovsk region, which is owned by the OGK-5 power-generating company, shut down two units with a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

The blaze started shortly after midnight and caused part of the roofing at energy unit No. 10 to cave in, OGK-5 said Wednesday in a statement. The two 500-megawatt units at the plant were switched off to attend to the fire, which was extinguished by early morning. (Bloomberg)

Oil Exports Down in Q1

Russian pipeline oil exports will fall in the first quarter of 2007 as Lithuania remains cut off and weather reduces the flow on some other routes, a schedule showed.

The pipeline export schedule showed Wednesday that overall shipments outside the former Soviet Union would stand at 4.24 million barrels per day from January to March 2007, versus 4.32 million bpd from October to December 2006. (Reuters)

TMK Gets Loan Guarantees

TMK, the world's second-largest producer of steel pipes, said the shareholders at three of its four Russian plants approved guarantees for a $300 million loan that the company received from an affiliate.

Luxemburg-based TMK Capital loaned TMK the cash using the proceeds from a three-year eurobond issued Sept. 28, a statement released Tuesday said. (Bloomberg)