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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Cadillac Model in Russia

General Motors may assemble its new Cadillac model in Russia, Vedomosti reported Wednesday, citing James Taylor, sales chief of GM's Russian unit.

GM is in talks with local partners to assemble Cadillac CTS sedans at the Avtotor plant in Kaliningrad, where the company already makes Hummer sport utility vehicles, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

EBRD Buys Lenta Stake

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development paid $125 million for a stake in Lenta, the biggest retailer in northwest Russia, to help fund the company's expansion.

Lenta will in the next few weeks give details of the investment, including the size of the stake, Lenta spokeswoman Katherine Lean said Wednesday from the retailer's main office in St. Petersburg. Vedomosti said the EBRD might buy as much as 16 percent of the chain. (Bloomberg)

Drop in Gold Buying

LONDON -- Gold buying by Russian banks dropped 8 percent last year, Interfax said, citing an unidentified official at Gokhran, the state-run precious-metal and gemstone repository.

Forty-two Russian banks, including Vneshtorgbank, Sberbank, Rosbank, Zenit, and UralSib bought 161.9 tons of bullion last year, down from 176.6 tons in 2005, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

VTB Profit Announcements

Vneshtorgbank has increased its year-on-year net profits in 2006 by 50 percent to 18.35 billion rubles ($690 million), the bank said in a statement, Interfax reported Wednesday.

This follows an earlier announcement that in the first nine months of 2006 the bank's consolidated net profit had reached $816 million, a 124 percent increase on the same period last year.

Vneshtorgbank plans to hold an IPO this May, in which it seeks to raise 120 billion rubles ($4.6 billion). (MT)

OGK-3 Raises Output

OGK-3, a Siberia-based wholesale power generator, increased output 6.1 percent to 30.6 billion kilowatt hours last year, the company said.

The greatest surge came at the Cherepetsk power plant, which increased output by nearly one-third to 3.4 billion kilowatt hours, the company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Oil Output Growth

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan, the second-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union, will probably not boost oil output this year, after production climbed 5 percent in 2006, the deputy head of the Kazakh Energy Ministry's oil department said.

Output of crude oil and gas condensate is expected to remain at about 65 million tons (1.31 million barrels per day) this year, Amantai Suyesinov said Wednesday, without giving a reason for the forecast. (Bloomberg)

Electricity Consumption

Russia's electricity consumption increased by 4.2 percent to 962.4 billion kilowatt hours in 2006.

Coal and natural gas fueled most of the power, trumping the nuclear and hydroelectric generation favored by President Vladimir Putin's government. State-run utility Unified Energy Systems increased output 4.4 percent to 694.8 billion kilowatt hours last year.

The output growth was twice that projected and occurred "not only in winter, during the period of extremely low temperatures, but also during the summer,'' UES said. (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Industrial Output

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh industrial output rose an annual 8.2 percent in December, led by output in iron ore.

Industrial production rose 5.8 percent in December, the Almaty-based State Statistics Agency said Wednesday in a statement.

Annual output from the mining industry climbed 8.9 percent, spurred by a 32.4 percent surge in iron ore output, the biggest growth in the month. Crude oil and associated gas output increased 9.1 percent. Natural gas production grew at a rate of 5.4 percent. (Bloomberg)

Aeroflot-Don Bought Up

State-controlled airline Aeroflot has raised its stake in its subsidiary company Aeroflot-Don to 100 percent from 51 percent, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Aeroflot announced its acquisition of a 49 percent stake from the Opt Invest company. The airline did not disclose how much it had paid for the stake.

Rostov-on-Don-based Aeroflot is the biggest airline in southern Russia and operates flights within the country and to the Middle East. (MT)

Dalsvyaz Back Taxes

A court Wednesday upheld an earlier ruling for Dalsvyaz, a provider of telecommunications services in the Far East, to pay 633 million rubles ($23.9 million) in back taxes, Interfax reported.

The tax claim relates to 2001 and 2002, the news agency said. (Bloomberg)

Novartis' Latvian Supplier

RIGA, Latvia -- Olainfarm, a Latvian drugmaker, won a contract to supply a subsidiary of Novartis, Europe's third-biggest drug company, with chemicals used in pharmaceuticals.

Olainfarm and Sweden's Jucker Pharma will deliver 1.17 million euros ($1.5 million) of chemical materials to Novartis Grimsby, the Olaine, Latvia-based company said in a statement Wednesday.

The Latvian drug producer exports to more than 30 countries, mainly those of the former Soviet Union, Norway and Britain. (Bloomberg)

Golden Telecom Codes

Golden Telecom, a Russian Nasdaq-listed telephone and web services provider, said it received access codes to provide long-distance services in Russia.

IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman on Dec. 15 signed off on codes for both domestic and international long-distance calls, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The codes will allow Golden Telecom to use fully its Federal Transit Network, which it completed last January. (Bloomberg)

Siberian Coal, TGK-13 Link

Siberian Coal Energy, Russia's biggest coal producer, increased its shareholding in TGK-13 to 31 percent, securing a blocking stake in the miner's local power generator.

The coal miner merged Krasnoyarsk Generation, a Siberian company in which it held a 35 percent stake, with TGK-13, it said in a regulatory filing Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Sistema $3Bln Debt Plan

Sistema has registered a program to borrow as much as $3 billion after its fixed-line phone unit bought one-quarter of national phone company Svyazinvest.

Sistema Capital, the holding company's financial arm, on Dec. 19 registered a 30-year program of medium-term notes with Britain's Financial Services Authority. (Bloomberg)