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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Ministers Disagree on Bank

Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref is opposed to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov becoming chairman of the supervisory board of the country's planned Development Bank, Vedomosti reported Monday.

The bank's remit will be to attract loans to finance infrastructure, innovation projects, support exports and develop small and medium-sized business, the newspaper said.

Fradkov wanted to expand the powers of the bank to manage money from the investment fund, the agency for special economic zones and federal programs, as well as to insure export contracts, Vedomosti reported. Gref said this would harm the priority task of attracting funds. (Bloomberg)

Primorsk's Record Exports

LONDON -- Oil exports from Primorsk, the country's biggest port, rose to a record last year as a new berth boosted tanker loadings, ship broker Riverlake Shipping said.

Shipments from the Baltic Sea terminal increased 16 percent to 454 million barrels, Riverlake said Monday in a report. Russian ports increased shipments by 8 percent in December after the Finance Ministry cut export taxes on crude oil 24 percent to $24.74 per barrel. (Bloomberg)

City Studies Building Curbs

Moscow may limit construction of new apartment buildings because traffic is worsening and will grind to a halt at the current pace of expansion, Vedomosti said, citing city officials.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov has approved building 1.98 million square meters of housing in 2009 and 2.34 million in 2010, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Rostelecom, Wind to Tie Up

Rostelecom, the country's biggest long-distance telephone company, signed an agreement with Wind Telecomunicazioni, Italy's third-biggest mobile phone company, that will allow them to cooperate on voice traffic.

The agreement with Rome-based Wind will increase traffic capacity between Russia and Italy and increase the quality of communications between the two countries, Rostelecom said in a statement Monday. (Bloomberg)

Potanin Buys Rambler TV

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin completed the purchase of Rambler TV, expanding his television assets to tap the growing advertising market.

Osgora Productions, a subsidiary of Potanin's Prof-Media holding company, closed the $23 million transaction on Jan. 12, Rambler Media said in a statement Monday. (Bloomberg)

Reserves May Grow $80Bln

The Central Bank forecasts that foreign currency and gold reserves may increase by as much as $80 billion this year, Interfax reported Monday, citing an interview with First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev.

Private capital inflows will help boost the reserves this year, the news agency cited Ulyukayev as saying in an interview published late on Jan. 12. The reserves grew by a record $118 billion last year, Ulyukayev said. (Bloomberg)

M?ller on Gazprom Offer

FRANKFURT -- German industrial group RAG's CEO Werner M?ller does not rule out that Gazprom may make an offer for a stake in the company or buy shares in a planned initial public offering, Focus reported Monday.

German energy companies should be willing to give foreign suppliers a stake in Germany's energy industry, M?ller told the magazine. That's a consideration that "may come to play at Gazprom," he said. (Bloomberg)

Chelyabinsk Mining Rights

LONDON -- Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant, Russia's largest producer of the metal, won a 25-year license to develop the Amurskoye deposit.

The company plans to spend about $100 million to develop the deposit, Chelyabinsk said Monday in a statement. Amurskoye will produce ore containing as much as 30,000 tons of zinc per year by 2010, increasing to 50,000 tons in 2011, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Domodedovo Traffic Up

Domodedovo International Airport, the country's busiest, handled 10 percent more passengers last year as domestic and international travel increased.

Domodedovo served 15.3 million passengers in 2006, the airport said in a statement. International traffic increased 9 percent to 8.5 million passengers, and traffic within Russia gained 12 percent to 6.8 million travelers. (Bloomberg)

Magnitogorsk Output Rises

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, the owner of the country's largest mill, said it poured almost one-fifth of Russia's steel last year.

Production rose 9.4 percent to 12.5 million tons, equal to 18 percent of the country's total, the company said on its web site Monday, without giving comparative figures for 2005. (Bloomberg)

BP Restarts Azeri Gas Field

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A group led by BP started pumping natural gas again at Shah Deniz, Azerbaijan's field in the Caspian Sea, after technical problems shut it down last month.

Production of natural gas resumed Sunday morning, and the gas reached the Sengechal onshore terminal Monday afternoon, Socar, Azerbaijan's state oil company, said Monday on its web site. (Bloomberg)

RZD Boosts Oil to China

Russia boosted rail shipments of crude to China by nearly one-third last year.

East Siberian Railways, a unit of Russian Railways, transported 10.3 million tons of crude in 2006, or 29 percent more than in the previous year, the company said Monday on its web site.

State-run oil company Rosneft became the main supplier of Russian crude to China after acquiring Yuganskneftegaz, the biggest production unit of bankrupt Yukos, in December 2004. (Bloomberg)

Evraz 4Q Output Up 13%

Evraz Group, the country's largest steel producer, increased rolled-steel output by 13 percent to 4.1 million tons in the fourth quarter and boosted iron-ore sales by more than one-third.

The company's overall steel production swelled 16 percent to 16.1 million tons in 2006, according to a statement released Monday.

Evraz increased pig iron output by 11 percent to 12.8 million tons and rolled products by 20 percent to 12.5 million tons. (Bloomberg)

VTB Aims to Raise $4.6Bln

VTB Group, the country's second-biggest bank, plans to raise as much as $4.6 billion by selling one-quarter of its stock to Russian and foreign investors this year.

"We see good prospects for our IPO,'' Vneshtorgbank CEO Andrei Kostin said Monday, confirming the share sale. (Bloomberg)