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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Severstal Boosts Output

Severstal, majority-owned by Alexei Mordashov, increased steel output by 4.8 percent to emerge as the country's biggest producer of the metal.

The company produced 17.6 million tons of crude steel, Severstal said Tuesday in a statement. The output includes figures for Italy's Lucchini plant, which Severstal consolidated in October. Severstal also raised coal concentrate production 8 percent to 5.4 million tons and coking-coal output jumped to more than 2.2 million tons. (Bloomberg)

UES Invites Coal Miners

Unified Energy Systems, which is planning an $18 billion project to export power to China, is ready to offer coal companies stakes in the project, Kommersant said Tuesday, citing a person on the utility's strategy committee.

UES's unit Far East energy company plans to export 4.5 billion kilowatt hours to northeast China starting from next year. The exports will increase to 18 billion kilowatt hours by 2012, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Bidders for TGK-5 Sale

Regional power-generation firm TGK-5 expects several strategic and financial investors to bid at its additional share offering in early May, a company source said Tuesday.

TGK-5 is earmarked to become the country's first regional power-generation firm to sell additional shares under market reforms aimed at attracting investment to the power sector. (Reuters)

Tea Import Tariff Scrapped

Russia has scrapped a 5 percent import tariff on unpacked black and green tea for nine months to stimulate domestic packaging and exports, the government said Tuesday.

The government said the tariff would be scrapped one month after an order dropping it was officially published. Under Russian law, tariffs are scrapped initially for nine months, after which the government decides whether to drop them indefinitely. (Reuters)

No Lithuania Oil Supplies?

Pipeline monopoly Transneft does not expect a quick resumption of oil flows to Lithuania, suspended last year due to a leak, a company official said Tuesday.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said Monday that his country hoped Russia would in March resume flows along the 250,000-barrel-per-day pipeline feeding the Mazeikiu refinery and the nearby Butinge terminal on the Baltic Sea. But Transneft vice president Sergei Grigoryev said Tuesday that his company would not start repair work before March. (Reuters)

SOCAR to Rebuild Terminal

Azerbaijan's state oil company, SOCAR, will rebuild and expand an oil terminal on the Black Sea coast of Georgia as it seeks to boost exports.

SOCAR plans to finish rebuilding the Kulevi oil terminal in the second half of this year, spokesman Asih Azizov said Tuesday. Work on the terminal has begun, SOCAR said Monday on its web site. (Bloomberg)

FlyLAL Eyes Expansion

BUDAPEST -- FlyLAL, the Lithuanian carrier sold by the government in 2005, is looking to further expand in Eastern Europe following its bid worth $156 million for Hungary's national airline Malev.

Owners of FlyLAL are seeking acquisition targets or potential partners in Russia, Ukraine and the Balkans to complete a network serving the region within three to seven years, said David Keresztes, the company's Hungarian representative. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Denies Papua Report

Russian Aluminium, the world's third-largest aluminum producer, denied a report in The Australian newspaper that said it decided to go ahead with plans to invest in a hydropower project in Papua New Guinea.

RusAl will spend as much as $2 billion on the project as it seeks to secure cheaper power for aluminum smelting, the newspaper cited Peter Martin, CEO of PNG Sustainable Energy, as saying. (Bloomberg)

GE Mulls Baltic Reactor

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- General Electric is interested in a project to build a new nuclear plant in Lithuania, the country's prime minister said Tuesday before a meeting with representatives of the U.S. company in Vilnius.

"International interest in building new reactors is very big," Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said Tuesday. "Now Americans are interested as well." (Bloomberg)

Imperial Energy Reserves

LONDON -- Imperial Energy, a British company exploring for oil and gas in Russia and Kazakhstan, said it boosted its proven and probable reserves after further analysis of its stake in a field in the Tomsk region.

The explorer now has reserves of 321 million barrels, an increase from 228 million, it said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

TengizChevroil Output Dips

Chevron's Kazakh venture, the country's biggest oil exporter, said 2006 oil production was 1.4 percent lower than planned.

TengizChevroil produced 13.3 million tons of oil, compared with planned output of 13.5 million tons, the Kazakh producer said Tuesday. No reason was given for the shortfall. (Bloomberg)

TriGranit Building Venture

BUDAPEST -- Gazprombank, the banking arm of Gazprom, and TriGranit, a Hungarian real estate developer, set up a joint venture to construct city centers in Russia, the Napi Gazdasag daily reported, citing the two companies.

TriGranit, based in Budapest, signed an agreement Monday with Gazprombank's real estate developer unit, Gazprombank-Invest, with each company investing $1 billion initially, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

VeriFone Wins Postal Order

TEL AVIV, Israel -- VeriFone Holdings, the U.S.-Israeli maker of electronic-payment equipment, said its payment system was selected by the Multifunctional Processing Company for use of the Russian Post Office state unitary enterprise.

The Russian post and the Moscow-based company purchased 13,000 units of VeriFone's SC 5000 system, which can be handed to customers for credit, debit, and other PIN-based transactions, VeriFone said. (Bloomberg)

Alliance to Get Islamic Loan

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Alliance Bank, Kazakhstan's fifth-biggest lender by assets, plans to borrow at least $50 million under Islamic law by March to diversify its financing.

The credits will be arranged by Abu-Dhabi Islamic bank from the United Arab Emirates and France's Calyon under so-called Murabahah rules, said Nelya Rastopchina, the head of Alliance's syndicated loans arrangement department, on Monday. In Murabahah, costs and profit margins are agreed on by all parties before the transaction, using mark-ups on asset prices in place of interest payments. (Bloomberg)