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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

EGAIS to Be Postponed

The government has postponed the implementation of the Unified State Automated Information System, or EGAIS, to Nov. 1 from the start of February, Interfax reported Thursday, citing the government press service.

The alcohol monitoring system will oblige alcohol producers to install meters to transmit data to the system automatically, Interfax said.

A spokesman for St. Petersburg-based distillery Liviz, Vitaly Kurilov, welcomed news of the delay, saying that it was unlikely most manufacturers would be ready for the switch over Feb 1. (MT)

Carrefour Grows in Russia

PARIS -- Carrefour expects to open at least 100 hypermarkets across the world in 2007, and the group is aiming at Russia and India in particular, the French retailer's CEO said in a newspaper interview.

"We have left six countries and our perimeter is stabilized. We can now look at new countries like Russia or India," Carrefour CEO Jose Luis Duran said, Le Figaro reported Thursday. (Reuters)

Japan, Russia Cooperation

LONDON -- Russia and Japan plan to increase cooperation in the energy sector after completing their first round of talks, Agence France Presse reported Thursday.

Russia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov and Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi "voiced their views on the issue of ensuring energy security, including joint projects in the [energy sector]," AFP cited a Russian Foreign Ministry statement as saying. (Bloomberg)

MSCI's Sberbank Weighting

Index compiler MSCI will double the index weighting of the country's largest bank, Sberbank, from March 1 after legislation took effect removing restrictions on foreign ownership of shares in Russian banks.

MSCI said in a statement issued late Wednesday that it would double its Foreign Inclusion Factor applying to Sberbank to 0.4 from 0.2. (Reuters)

LUKoil Buys BP Stations

WARSAW -- LUKoil bought four gas stations in Poland from BP, entering the Polish retail fuel market, Rzeczpospolita newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

The Russian company bought filling stations in the Polish towns of Zabrze, Lodz, Olsztyn and Rybnik for an unspecified price and will start operating them "in a few weeks," the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

UES Plans for TGK-1

Power utility Unified Energy Systems plans to raise $2.3 billion by selling shares in the regional power generating unit TGK-1 to increase its capacity.

The utility's board will review selling $1.2 billion worth of shares in TGK-1 this year and $1.1 billion worth in 2009, the agenda for UES's Feb. 9 board meeting said. (Bloomberg)

Winter Grain Looks Healthy

The country's warmer-than-usual winter has helped the development of winter grain, which analysts said Thursday was in much better shape than during last year's severe frosts.

Roman Vilfand, director of the Hydrometeorological Center, said sprouting grain had developed resistance to the cold, while snowfall in the past few days had provided protection as temperatures finally began to drop. (Reuters)

ONGC Offers Sokol Crude

SINGAPORE -- ONGC Videsh, the overseas unit of India's state-run explorer, offered to sell 700,000 barrels of Sokol crude oil from the Sakhalin-1 project for loading in April, the company said Wednesday.

ONGC Videsh, a wholly owned unit of Oil & Natural Gas Corp., offered to load the crude at the DeKastri Terminal in the Far East on April 5. Bids must be submitted by Feb. 7, and these must remain valid until Feb. 8, ONGC said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprombank's Assets Rise

Gazprombank, the banking arm of natural-gas producer Gazprom, increased its assets by 66 percent in 2006 as the country enjoyed an eighth consecutive year of economic growth.

The bank's assets stood at $27 billion as of Jan. 1, 2007, under Russian accounting standards, the bank said in a statement. Net income rose 1 percent to $517 million. (Bloomberg)

Altimo Bid for Hutchinson

MUMBAI -- Russian telecommunications company Altimo and Egypt's Orascom Telecom Holdings are interested in bidding for Indian cellular provider Hutchison Essar, the Press Trust of India reported Wednesday, citing officials from the two companies.

Altimo is in talks with the founders of Hutchison Essar and the Hinduja family to be part of their bids, the agency said, citing Altimo chief financial officer Teijo Pankko. (Bloomberg)

Telecom to Invest $208M

Center Telecom, a unit of fixed-line telephone operator Svyazinvest, said it planned to invest 5.5 billion rubles ($208 million) in its development this year.

Center Telecom will also spend 1.8 billion rubles to cut its debt, the company said in a statement Thursday. It forecasts net income of 2.6 billion rubles on sales of 30.5 billion rubles under Russian accounting standards. The company has more than 6.4 million fixed-line subscribers and operates in central Russia, except the Moscow area. (Bloomberg)

Uralsvyazinform Eyes Profit

Uralsvyazinform, a fixed-line telephone monopoly in the Urals region, expects that its 2007 profit will rise 55 percent, Interfax reported Thursday, citing deputy CEO Valery Chernyshev.

Uralsvyazinform's net income this year may increase to $119 million from $77 million in 2006, Interfax said. Last year's profit is expected to fall 6 percent from $82 million in 2005 under International Financial Reporting Standards, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Avtotor to Decide Soon

SHANGHAI -- China's Chery Automobile expects a decision soon on a possible $100 million investment in a new plant, which it has been discussing with its Russian partner, Avtotor, for more than a year, a senior Chery executive said Thursday.

If the deal goes through, it would be one of the largest monetary investments overseas by Chery, a mid-sized but fast-growing automaker in east China. (Reuters)

Kazatomprom Output Up

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan's state-owned uranium producer, raised output 3.9 percent last year as it opened new mines and expanded existing ones.

The company produced 3,010 tons of uranium in 2006, a company press officer, Olga Orininskaya said Thursday. Kazatomprom accounted for about 57 percent of Kazakhstan's uranium output last year. (Bloomberg)