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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

WTO Talks to Resume

Russia and the United States will resume talks on Russia's entry to the World Trade Organization on Tuesday, Kommersant reported.

Russia's entry to the trade body could be delayed until 2009 unless the two sides agree on accession by the end of next month, Kommersant reported, citing Andrei Kushnirenko, deputy head of the Russian negotiating team.

U.S. meat imports to Russia remain one of the stumbling blocks, along with Russia's perceived reluctance to tighten anti-piracy laws, the paper said. (Bloomberg)

CAT Wins Gazprom Deal

FRANKFURT -- CAT Oil, an Austrian oil-services company, won a contract from a Gazprom unit to improve drilling efficiency.

The order is a "long-term" accord with Gazprom unit Gazprom Neft, Baden, Germany-based CAT Oil said Tuesday in a statement distributed by the OTS news agency. CAT Oil did not release the value of the contract, which will include work in hydraulic fracturing, inclined drilling, side tracking and coiled tubing. (Bloomberg)

Surgut Ups Capacity 71%

Surgutneftegaz, the country's fourth- largest oil producer, raised its natural-gas refining capacity 71 percent this year after bringing a new facility on line.

The oil company increased capacity to 7.2 billion cubic meters per year from 4.2 billion cubic meters, the company said by e-mail. (Bloomberg)

Usmanov to Take 50% Stake

Billionaire Alisher Usmanov will take a 50 percent stake in a $10 billion metal holding that is being set up to manage assets producing 40 million tons of iron ore per year, Vedomosti reported, citing Usmanov.

Usmanov's partners, Andrei Skoch and Vassily Anisimov, will take 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, in Metalloinvest, Vedomosti said. Usmanov also wants to bring Renat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man and owner of Investment Metallurgical Union, into the partnership. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Profit Up 2,000%

Polyus Gold, the country's biggest gold-mining company, said first half profit jumped more than 2,000 percent as gold prices reached 26-year highs and it sold a stake in South Africa's Gold Fields.

Net income was $1.03 billion in the first half of 2006 compared with $48 million during the same period last year, Polyus said in an e-mailed statement. Sales rose 76 percent to $297 million, and operating profit increased 72 percent to $93 million. (Bloomberg)

TMK-Corinth Joint Venture

Trubnaya Metallurgicheskaya Kompaniya, the world's second-biggest maker of steel pipes, agreed to set up a joint venture in Russia with Greece's Corinth Pipeworks to supply energy companies.

The companies will build a plant on the territory of Trubnaya's Seversky Pipe Plant in Sverdlovsk with an annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons. Production will begin in the second quarter of 2007, the companies said in an e-mailed press release. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine Orders 1,000 ATMs

MUNICH -- Wincor-Nixdorf, Europe's largest maker of automated-teller machines, won an order from Ukraine's Private Bank for more than 1,000 ATMs and maintenance software.

Private Bank is Ukraine's biggest retail bank and already operates the largest network of ATMs in the country, Paderborn, Germany-based Wincor Nixdorf said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. No financial details of the order were disclosed. (Bloomberg)

KrasAir Offers to Pay Debt

Airline KrasAir offered to pay half of its $180 million debt of Malev should it win the bid to buy the Hungarian state-owned airline, news agency FIS reported, citing KrasAir co-owner Boris Abramovich.

KrasAir bought bid documentation and applied with Hungary's asset-sales agency to participate in the bidding in November, FIS said. KrasAir submitted the highest offer in a previous sale of Budapest-based Malev that was scrapped in August last year, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. (Bloomberg)

Pyatyorochka, or X5?

Pyatyorochka, the country's largest supermarket chain, is asking shareholders to approve buying back as much as 10 percent of the company's shares over the next 1 1/2 years.

Shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting Oct. 16 will be asked to approve the buyback program, St.Petersburg-based Pyatyorochka said Monday night in a statement posted on its web site. The meeting also will vote on whether to change the company's name to X5 Retail Group. (Bloomberg)

Budweiser to Enter Russia

LONDON -- Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer, is teaming up with Heineken to bring Russia one of the few beer brands it does not already have: Budweiser.

Heineken, based in Amsterdam, will make, sell and distribute the beer under a licensing agreement with St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, according to a statement Tuesday. Brewing will start in the next few months at a Heineken plant in St. Petersburg. (Bloomberg)

BBH Sales Up 16%

AMSTERDAM -- Baltic Beverages Holding, a brewer controlled by Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle, said the volume of its beer sold in Russia rose 16 percent in July and August, more than the beer market itself grew.

The company is "very confident of achieving the guidance given at the half-year results," it said in a Stockwise statement Tuesday. Beer volume in the Russian market as a whole rose by 14 percent in those months, the statement said. (Bloomberg)

No. 1 Brewer Targets CIS

Baltic Beverages Holding, the country's No. 1 brewer, expects Kazakh, Ukrainian and Uzbek operations to play a larger role in the company's expansion as beer consumption growth in Russia, its biggest market, is expected to slow.

The company is building a brewery in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and may also consider entering the soft drinks market, he said. (Bloomberg)

Russian-Cambodian Resort

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The Cambodian government has agreed to allow a Russian-run company develop a coastal island into a tourist resort with an initial investment of up to $300 million, officials said Tuesday.

Cambodian officials and Russians representing the firm signed an "agreement in principle" during a ceremony presided over by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen Monday, said Sri Thamrongk, an adviser.

The agreement will allow Koh Pos Investment to develop and manage Koh Pos, or Snake Island, for 99 years, said Khiem Kolneath, an assistant to Alexander Trofimov, the company's chairman. (AP)