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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Industrial Production Slows

The pace of growth in output from Russian industrial companies slowed to a 10-month low in December as electricity, gas and water production fell.

Output rose an annual 1.9 percent, slowing from 3 percent in November, the State Statistics Service said in a statement Monday. Output of gas, electricity and water declined an annual 4.4 percent, Monday's report showed. (Bloomberg)

Sitronics Promotes IPO

Sitronics, which makes tickets for the Moscow subway and microchips for missile systems, began its promotional tour to gauge investor interest in the company's initial public offering.

Sitronics, which plans to have the share sale in the first quarter and is a unit of Sistema, also published its preliminary prospectus, the company said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine to Ship More Gas

KIEV -- Ukraine aims to increase by 7 percent the amount of natural gas it ships from Russia to farther west in Europe, seeking to increase revenue as demand for the fuel grows, Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko said Monday.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has approved a $280 million loan for rebuilding its pipelines, Boyko said. The ministry will invest its money as well, he said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Will Not Buy KP

Gazprom Media, a unit of state-run gas company Gazprom, will not buy Komsomolskaya Pravda, the country's most popular tabloid, Vedomosti reported Monday, citing a company statement.

Vladimir Potanin's Prof-Media News and Publishing Holding will sell Komsomolskaya Pravda Publishing House, which brings out the tabloid with a circulation of 4 million copies, to businessman Grigory Beryozkin's ESN Group, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

TMK Says Shipments Up

TMK, the world's second-largest producer of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, said shipments rose to a record last year as it gained market share in Russia.

Total pipe shipments advanced 3.2 percent to about 3.02 million tons last year, the company said Monday. TMK said its share of the Russian market advanced to more than 56 percent last year from 49 percent one year earlier. (Bloomberg)

Banks to Earn $90Bln

Russian banks will raise their average annual profit to $90 billion by 2015, from $14 billion now, on growth in retail lending and mortgages, Vedomosti reported, citing a report by McKinsey & Co.

Retail lending and mortgages will account for 74 percent of the banks' earnings from retail services by 2015, Vedomosti said Monday, citing the McKinsey report. (Bloomberg)

Severstal Seeks Foreign Steel

Alexei Mordashov said his steelmaker, Severstal, was seeking acquisitions around the world to benefit from asset sales by rivals unnerved by rising costs in the industry.

North America and Europe in particular are "still profitable," even though other companies are trying to shed assets there, Mordashov said Monday. Severstal is also looking at building or buying factories in Asia and Latin America, where labor costs are lower. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Confirms Gold Find

Polyus Gold, the country's largest gold producer, said the government confirmed that its Natalka mine in the Far East held about 48 million ounces of the precious metal.

The Natural Resources Ministry's reserves committee confirmed 1,501 tons, or 48 million ounces, of gold based on open pit mining, the company said Monday. (Bloomberg)

SUAL Ups Production 1.4%

Aluminum producer SUAL, which is being taken over by larger rival RusAl, increased output of the light metal 1.4 percent last year after upgrading smelters.

Output rose to 1.06 million tons in the period, the company said in a statement Monday. Bauxite output climbed 6.9 percent to 5.78 million tons and alumina production advanced 0.9 percent to 2.31 million tons. (Bloomberg)

Hapoalim Eyes Bank

JERUSALEM -- Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank, is seeking foreign investors to join its bid for an unidentified Russian lender, Ma'ariv daily said without citing anyone.

The transaction will be in partnership with a European investment bank and values the Russian company at $350 million, of which Hapoalim expects to pay $200 million, the newspaper said. The Russian lender has 22 branches and is held by two investors who will continue to hold a stake in the bank, the report said. (Bloomberg)