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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

LUKoil Target in Holland



LUKoil, the country's biggest oil producer, said it was bidding for Kuwait Petroleum's 85,000-barrel-per-day refinery near Rotterdam to increase its European refining capacity, a LUKoil spokesman said Monday.

LUKoil produces about one-fifth of the oil Russia pumps and is considering refinery acquisitions around the world. The company may build at least one refinery in Russia, which is facing a possible gasoline shortage.

"We need to expand our refining capacity within Europe," Dmitry Dolgov, a LUKoil spokesman, said by phone Monday from Moscow. He could not say whether Kuwait Petroleum has made a shortlist or when a possible transaction could be concluded. (Bloomberg)




RusAl Seeks Tariff Trade-off



Russian Aluminum, or RusAl, wants Russia to cut its export tariff on aluminum scrap in exchange for the European Union cutting its import duty on primary aluminum, Vedomosti said, citing chief executive officer Alexander Bulygin.

Bulygin sent a letter to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry in May urging the government to halve its export tariff on scrap to 5 percent and raise the quota to 300,000 tons, the newspaper said.

RusAl plans to spend $8 billion to increase annual aluminum production to 5 million tons, leapfrogging New York-based Alcoa and Montreal-based Alcan. (Bloomberg)




Peter Hambro H1 Results



Peter Hambro Mining, the third-largest gold-miner in Russia by production, said it was on track to meet a 2006 production target of one-quarter of a million ounces as gold prices climb.

Output rose 6 percent to 108,363 ounces in the six months to June 30 from a year earlier, the London-based company said Monday in a statement.

Millionaire Peter Hambro is developing three new projects in Amur region as part of a plan to quadruple production. (Bloomberg)




Icebreakers for Norilsk



OSLO, Norway -- Aker Yards on Monday said it landed a $408 million contract to build four icebreaking cargo ships for Norilsk Nickel's Arctic operations.

The Oslo-based company said the vessels would be built at its German shipyards in Rostock and Wismar and would be completed in late 2008 and early 2009.

The 169-meter-long ships are designed to break through heavy ice, up to 1.5 meters thick, by turning around and plowing through it stern-first. (AP)




MTS Buys Dagestan Firm



Mobile TeleSystems, eastern Europe's biggest mobile-phone company, bought an operator in Dagestan.

Mobile TeleSystems bought 75 percent, minus one share, in Dagtelecom on July 14, the company said in a regulatory filing Monday.

The Moscow-based company, which started the month with 48 million subscribers, is looking for new customers outside Russia's biggest cities, where the market is close to saturation. Dagestan has a population of about 2.6 million. (Bloomberg)




Domodedovo H1 Traffic Up



Domodedovo International Airport, which last year surpassed Sheremetyevo as the country's busiest airfield, served 13 percent more passengers in the first half than one year earlier.

Domodedovo served 6.6 million passengers in the first six months of the year, its owner, Moscow-based East Line Group, said in a statement Monday.

International traffic grew 8.9 percent to 3.6 million passengers and domestic traffic increased 17 percent to 3 million passengers.

Russian carriers flew 35.1 million passengers last year, up 3.9 percent from 2004, according to Transport Ministry figures. (Bloomberg)




Magnit Q1 Profit Surges



Magnit, a food retailer that raised $368 million by selling shares to the public in April, said first-half profit rose sixfold as it added 74 stores.

Net income climbed to $13.2 million from $2.2 million a year earlier, the Krasnodar-based company said Monday in a statement.

Sales advanced 56 percent to $493.8 million. The unaudited results were calculated using International Financial Reporting Standards.

Magnit had 1,574 stores at the end of March, up from 1,117 stores at the end of March 2005. Two-thirds of the outlets are in cities with a population of less than 500,000. (Bloomberg)




Mitvol Caspian Warning



A Russian environmental official warned Monday of potential ecological disaster in the Caspian Sea if aging oil tankers were used to transport crude from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan. The crude would be pumped through a U.S.-backed pipeline, bypassing Russia.

Oleg Mitvol, deputy chief of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, told reporters that small-capacity, single-hulled tankers commonly in use on the sea were likely to leak or spill crude oil.

Western countries have pushed Kazakhstan to increase its oil exports via the U.S.-backed pipeline that runs from Azerbaijan via Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. (AP)




Mugabe to Discuss Power



JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe will this week discuss three hydropower projects with a Russian company known as TurboEngineering, ZimOnline said, citing government officials and a letter from the Russians.

Officials from the company will stay in Zimbabwe until July 2 and will also meet with the country's central bank, the Johannesburg-based Internet news site reported.

The Russian company may invest in the Batoka project on the Zambezi river and in two other projects known as Gairezi and Condo, ZimOnline said. The projects could generate 1,000 megawatts of power. (Bloomberg)




'Pirates' Claims No.1 Spot



Walt Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" claimed the No. 1 spot in Russia's box office over the weekend, earning $10.4 million.

"For us, this is the type of movie that doesn't come along very often," said Mark Zoradi, president of Buena Vista International, Disney's foreign distribution arm. He predicted that "Dead Man's Chest" would surpass "Nemo," a 2003 Pixar/Disney animated film that grossed $525 million internationally.

Russia's box-office record is held by home-grown blockbuster "Dnevnoi Dozor," or "Day Watch," which generated $26 million in its first 15 days.

The total weekend tally for "Dead Man's Chest" was an estimated $58 million in 24 territories. (MT, Reuters)




SUAL Kazakh Plans



ALMATY -- SUAL, the country's second-largest aluminum producer, is considering Kazakhstan as a location for a new smelter as it seeks to double output in the next five to seven years, the company said Monday. (Reuters)