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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Sakhalin-1 Output Spikes

CHICAGO -- ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, said output from its $17 billion Sakhalin Island development jumped 40 percent in the past month.

Oil and natural gas production from the Sakhalin-1 development has risen to the equivalent of more than 200,000 barrels of crude per day, senior vice president Stuart McGill said Wednesday. Exxon expects output eventually to reach the equivalent of 317,000 barrels per day. (Bloomberg)

UES to Stay in State Hands

Inter RAO UES, the export and import arm of electricity monopoly Unified Energy Systems, is likely to stay in state hands following sector reforms, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

Quoting sources close to UES, the paper said the monopoly planned to raise its share in Inter RAO to 85 percent from the current 65 percent and pay for it with shares in several power stations. (Reuters)

Gazprom Revenue Declared

State-run natural gas monopoly Gazprom had revenue of $39 billion from exports of the fuel last year, deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said Wednesday.

Sales to European consumers were $37.2 billion, Medvedev said, without giving comparative figures. Gazprom shipped 155.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe, including fuel it bought from Central Asian countries, he said. (Bloomberg)

Uzbek Gas Rights Granted

Uzbekistan, Central Asia's second-largest producer of natural gas, granted Gazprom an exploration license, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Gazprom, which depends on supplies from Central Asia to supplement its Russian production, won the license in Uzbekistan's western Ustyurt region, the news agency reported, citing an unidentified official at state-run energy company Uzbekneftegaz. (Bloomberg)

Poland, Russia Pipe Dispute

WARSAW -- Poland and Russia clashed over pipeline operator Europolgaz, with Poland accusing Gazprom of trying to take control of the company.

Gazprom plans to block supervisory board decisions at Europolgaz, the operator of the Polish pipeline handling 15 percent of Russian gas exports, until Poland agrees to give it control of the company, Polish gas monopoly Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo said. (Bloomberg)

Belarussian Growth at 9.9%

Belarus' economic growth accelerated to 9.9 percent last year, exceeding expansion in Russia by almost one-third.

The growth in gross domestic product accelerated from 9.2 percent the year earlier, the Belarussian Ministry of Statistics and Analysis said Wednesday. An International Monetary Fund report published in August found Belarus had the lowest level of poverty in the CIS. (Bloomberg)

KrasAir Investing in Malev

BUDAPEST -- KrasAir, which is bidding for Hungary's state airline through its local investment vehicle, would immediately invest $30 million to $50 million in the carrier should it win, the Napi Gazdasag newspaper reported Wednesday, citing the owner of KrasAir.

KrasAir, which has increasingly raised the amount of money it would pay for Malev airlines since first bidding in late 2005, wants to increase passenger numbers at Malev by about 10 percent over three years, Napi reported. (Bloomberg)

AES's Unit Boosts Output

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A subsidiary of the Kazakhstan unit of AES, a U.S.-based power producer with businesses in 26 countries, increased output 20.5 percent last year.

The unit, based in Ekibastuz in the northeast of the Central Asian country, produced 9.11 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity last year, the company said in a statement Wednesday. AES said in August that it planned to invest $1 billion in Kazakhstan during the next seven years. (Bloomberg)

Egypt Buys Kazakh Wheat

CAIRO, Egypt -- Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, said private traders agreed to buy 1.05 million tons of the grain from Kazakhstan this year.

They will pay Kazakhstan $240 million to $250 million for the grain, a spokeswoman for Egypt's Trade and Industry Ministry said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Kopeika Chiefs Sell Share

Executives of discount supermarket chain Trading House Kopeika sold their 50 percent holding in the company.

Board member Alexander Samonov sold his 30 percent stake; Sergei Lomakin, another board member, sold a 10 percent holding; and executive Artyom Khachatryan sold another 10 percent, Kopeika said Wednesday in a company filing. The stakes were bought by Accentward, Quakerward and Drowstar, according to the filing. (Bloomberg)

Lithuanians Balance Budget

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Lithuania may have had its first balanced budget last year after revenue rose more than expected to 14.6 billion litai ($5.5 billion) because of quickening economic growth, Finance Minister Zigmantas Balcytis said.

The preliminary revenue was 6.4 percent more than planned, Balcytis said Wednesday. Rising wages in the fast growing economy and new jobs boosted consumer spending, which raised the government's income from the value-added tax, the finance ministry said. (Bloomberg)

MDM Bank Plans Issue

Russia's MDM bank plans to issue loan-participation notes worth no less than $200 million before the end of this week, the bank's debt chief said on Wednesday.

The bank's debt chief Timur Kibatullin said the bank had picked Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs to organize the issue. (Reuters)

Alfa Exemption Canceled

ISTANBUL -- A Turkish court has canceled a regulatory decision to exempt Russia's Alfa from making a tender offer to minority shareholders after it purchased a stake in Turkcell, the seller of the stake said.

Cukurova, which in 2005 sold a 13 percent stake in Turkcell to Alfa, said Wednesday that the market regulator and Cukurova itself might appeal the decision, made after an investors association launched a case. (Reuters)

Bond Issue Oversubscribed

Russia sold almost the entire 12 billion ruble ($452 million) offering of a new medium-term OFZ bond Wednesday in the first primary placement this year, attracting strong investor demand.

"This paper will become a new benchmark, and market participants have shown healthy interest in this bond," said Alexander Kudrin, a fixed-income analyst at Troika Dialog. (Reuters)