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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Trade Surplus At $38.8Bln

The country posted a trade surplus of $38.8 billion in the second quarter, up 8.4 percent from the first three months of the year, the country's Central Bank said Thursday on its web site.

Exports rose to $76.6 billion from $59.6 billion, while imports climbed to $37.8 billion. (Bloomberg)

Citigroup to Double Outlets

Citigroup, the biggest U.S. bank, plans to double the number of retail branches in Russia.

Citigroup will have more than 56 branches in the country by the end of 2006, compared with about 28 at the start, said Ajay Banga, chairman and chief executive officer of the consumer group's international businesses, at a conference in Moscow. (Bloomberg)

2 Banks' Licenses Revoked

Two small Russian banks had their licenses revoked, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The Bank of Investments and Credit was cited for failure to guard against money laundering and lack of financial controls. The Fonon bank was cited for inadequate reserves and taking insufficient measures to identify clients, the Central Bank said.

According to the Interfax Center for Economic Analysis, Fonon is the 565th largest bank in Russia, and the Central Bank said its outstanding customer deposits did not exceed 30.5 million rubles ($1.1 million). The Bank of Investments and Credit does not appear on the Interfax ratings. (MT)

Boeing Says It Won't Suffer

Boeing, the world's second-largest commercial-aircraft maker, said Thursday that its business in Russia would not suffer following last week's decision by the U.S. State Department to impose sanctions on two Russian defense companies for breaching a U.S. law on trading with Iran.

Chicago-based Boeing is consulting for Sukhoi, the state-controlled fighter-jet maker, on the Superjet project and buying titanium from VSMPO-Avisma, the world's biggest titanium producer, which is being bought by state arms dealer Rosoboronexport.

The State Department imposed trade sanctions on Aug.4 on Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi after they allegedly broke a U.S. law "on nonproliferation in relations to Iran." (Reuters)

Yanukovych to Respect Deal

KIEV -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said Thursday that his government would respect its existing gas deal with Russia.

Ukraine now pays $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, compared with $50 before the January deal.

"I have never said that we are going to change or review anything," Yanukovych said during his first formal news conference since the Ukrainian parliament approved him as prime minister on Friday. (Reuters)

2 Months of Oil at Mazeikiu

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Baltic refinery Mazeikiu Nafta, which has had its Russian supply pipeline cut, has secured sufficient crude by sea for the next two months, Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said Thursday.

Kirkilas said in an interview with Lithuanian radio station Ziniu Radijas that the refinery, which was bought by Polish oil group PKN Orlen in May, was being regularly supplied by tankers.

"We have five to six tankers that will be coming all the time and we have secured supplies for August and September," he told the station. (Reuters)

Slovakia Buys Pipeline Stake

PRAGUE -- The Slovakian government agreed to buy Yukos' stake in Transpetrol, the country's oil pipeline operator, a step toward regaining full control over the strategic company, the Slovakian Economy Ministry said.

Slovakia outbid Gazprom, which was planning to buy the stake for $105 million, and four other bidders, including Mol Nyrt's Slovakian unit Slovnaft. (Bloomberg)

Tatneft Production Up

Tatneft, the country's sixth-largest oil company, pumped 2.16 million tons of oil in the first seven months of 2006, a 0.7 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, the company said Thursday by e-mail. (Bloomberg)

Atomstroi Changes Bid

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Atomstroiexport changed its bid for the construction of a $3 billion nuclear power plant in Bulgaria to meet the Bulgarian government's requirements.

Bulgaria asked in July the two bidders for building and commissioning of the 2,000-megawatt plant at Belene on the Danube River to shorten the construction time and reduce the cost, setting their deadline for the end of August. The other bidder is a group of Czech companies led by Skoda, which changed its offer on Aug. 2. (Bloomberg)

Profit Up at 2 Evraz Mills

Evraz Group, the country's biggest steelmaker, said profit increased at two of its three steel mills in the second quarter as prices and production rose and as costs fell after it conducted a modernization program.

Net income rose 11 percent to 4.3 billion rubles ($160.6 million) at Nizhny Tagil Iron & Steel Plant and jumped 176 percent to 3.4 billion rubles at West Siberian Iron & Steel Plant, Evraz said in a Regulatory News Service statement. (Bloomberg)

Russia Lifts Raiffeisen Profit

Raiffeisen International Bank, the biggest non-Russian lender in the former Soviet Union, had a record profit in the second quarter after it bought banks in Eastern Europe to add new clients.

Net income rose to 165 million euros ($212.7 million), from 93 million euros a year ago, the Vienna-based lender said Thursday by e-mail.

The bank paid $1 billion for Bank Aval to become the No. 1 bank in Ukraine and $550 million for Impexbank, to become Russia's biggest non-domestic lender. (Bloomberg)

Restructuring Helps Baltika

The country's top brewer, Baltika, said Thursday that the restructuring of its distribution system improved its second-quarter sales and led to a 16 percent rise in first-half net profit.

Baltika, jointly owned by Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg, reported a first-half net profit of 94.7 million euros ($122 million) and revenue up 18 percent to 531.6 million euros in the first half of 2006. (Reuters)

Russia Floats Coke's Bottle

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling, the world's second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola drinks, said profit increased 19 percent after sales in Russia and other Eastern European countries jumped.

Second-quarter net income rose to 167.8 million euros ($216 million) from 140.8 million euros a year earlier, the Athens-based company said Thursday in a statement.

Coca-Cola HBC bought six companies in 18 months to expand in countries including Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia to become less dependent on slower-growing markets. (Bloomberg)