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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Surgut Buys Stake in TV

Surgutneftegaz, the country's fourth-biggest oil producer, bought a stake in a St. Petersburg-based television station that won a license last year to broadcast throughout most of the country.

Surgut agreed to buy 20 percent of TRK Peterburg, which operates Peterburg-Channel Five, spokesman Igor Zakharko said. He declined to say how much was paid for the stake, or why the company bought it. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank $2.6Bln Share Sale

The Central Bank may buy as much as 70 billion rubles ($2.6 billion) of Sberbank shares in the lender's planned secondary offering, Vedomosti said Tuesday, citing an unidentified central banker.

The National Banking Council, comprising senior government and Central Bank officials, was to decide Tuesday how many shares to purchase, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

Yeniseytelecom Supply Deal

STOCKHOLM -- Ericsson, the world's largest maker of wireless networks, said it won a contract to supply a microwave radio network to Yeniseytelecom in Russia.

Ericsson will implement the latest generation of its compact, long-haul microwave system, Marconi LH, and offer professional services such as installation, supervision and training for technical personnel. (Bloomberg)

Tanker Rates May Hold

The cost of hiring tankers to transport million-barrel crude oil consignments from terminals in the Black Sea to European refineries may hold until Russia confirms February's export schedule next week.

Russia confirms loading dates for cargoes around the end of each month. Freight rates are little changed for a third day after refiners secured oil supplies in advance of seasonal disruptions in Turkey's Bosporus Straits, the only sea route for Russian exports into the Mediterranean. (Bloomberg)

Deripaska to Build on Plant

Oleg Deripaska and developer Mirax Group bought control of a Moscow plant on 12 hectares of real estate near the Moscow City business center, Vedomosti said, citing an unidentified official in the Mayor's Office.

The purchase of an 86 percent share in the Kazakov First Instrument-Making Plant could be worth $70 million, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The land under the plant is worth as much as $150 million. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Owes Europolgaz

WARSAW -- Natural gas exporter Gazprom owes Europolgaz, the operator of the Polish pipeline handling 15 percent of Russian gas exports, $20 million in gas transit fees from last year, Puls Biznesu reported, citing Polish gas monopoly Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo.

Gazprom says the fees are too high, the newspaper said. Gazprom and Polskie Gornictwo each hold a 48 percent stake in Europolgaz. (Bloomberg)

RZD's Single-Sex Cabins

Starting Monday, passengers on some of the country's long-distance trains were able to buy tickets for male, female or mixed compartments.

"Russian Railways is introducing this service on eight of its trains at the request of its passengers, mainly women," the operator said in a statement. It added that the new service, available on trains in eight directions, was a pilot project and that if successful, it would be extended to other trains. (Reuters)

Weather Costs Loggers

Russia's unusually warm winter is hurting loggers because they cannot move timber over muddy roads and may cost the industry as much as $105 million in lost sales this month, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

Roads are impassable if the temperature doesn't stay below minus 10 degrees Celsius for a week, said Nikita Leonov, operational director of Ilim Pulp. As a result, timber companies in European Russia have cut output by one-third, said Andrei Prokopov, head of the National Forestry Company. (Bloomberg)

Iran Proposes Gas Swaps

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran is proposing gas swaps to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as a way to generate additional transit revenue.

Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan could swap gas at the northern border of Iran and receive the same amount of gas in the Persian Gulf, a National Iranian Gas official said Monday. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Russia will keep its import duty on raw sugar at $140 per ton in February, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said. (Bloomberg)

Prompt Russian coal prices have risen to around $64-$65 per ton FOB Baltic ports from around $60 FOB before Christmas, major Russian exporters said. (Reuters)