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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Ministry Glum on Inflation

Inflation is likely this year to exceed the 9 percent seen in 2006 after food prices rose significantly, prompting the government to pay closer attention to agricultural markets, the economic development and trade minister said Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, it's more than likely that inflation will be more than last year," Elvira Nabiullina told reporters. "The dynamics have changed. In September, there was a surge in a range of prices on several consumer goods, which comprise a large part of the consumer basket." (Reuters)

Gas Deal Boosts Credibility

BRUSSELS -- An agreement between Russia and Ukraine on payment for natural gas strengthens their credibility as supplier and transit countries, the European Union's top energy official said Wednesday.

"The rapid solution of this bilateral commercial issue and the level of transparency shown … during the affair strengthens the reputation of Russia and Ukraine as reliable supply and transit countries to EU markets," Andris Piebalgs said. (Reuters)

Industry Chief Appointed

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov on Wednesday appointed Andrei Dutov to head the Federal Industry Agency, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday.

Dutov, formerly deputy head of the agency, had been provisionally in charge of the government body since Boris Alyoshin left the post to take over as president of carmaker AvtoVAZ in the middle of September.

Zubkov also named the former head of the Federal Fisheries Agency, Andrei Krainy, as the chairman of the State Fisheries Committee. (MT)

OGK-4 Purchase Near

FRANKFURT -- E.On, the world's largest utility, said Wednesday that it planned to complete the 146.5 billion ruble ($5.85 billion) purchase of 70 percent of power generator OGK-4 at the beginning of next week.

Unified Energy System had selected E.On's bid as the best, E.On said Sept. 15. (Reuters)

Grain Forecast Upgraded

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev on Wednesday revised his 2007 grain crop forecast up to about 80 million tons from a previous estimate of about 79 million tons.

Gordeyev told a news conference that Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov would sign an order Wednesday or Thursday introducing export tariffs on wheat and barley. (Reuters)

Highland Extends License

Highland Gold Mining said Wednesday that it had successfully won an extension to 2010 of the operating license for its large Maiskoye deposit, which was due to expire at the end of this year.

The Natural Resources Ministry's environment watchdog on Monday accused Highland Gold of failing to fulfill the license terms at the deposit in the Chukotka autonomous district, sending shares in the miner down 3.9 percent. (Reuters)

Odessa-Brody Revived

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Five nations agreed Wednesday to form a consortium to work on bringing Caspian crude to Poland and the Baltic Sea to provide an alternative to Russian oil.

The agreement, signed by Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Georgia, Azerbaijan and companies involved in the scheme, aims to revive the Odessa-Brody project. (Reuters)

Rossia to Change Its Name

Rossia, an airline owned wholly by the government, will soon be reorganized and have its name changed, Vladimir Kozhin, head of the Presidential Property Department, said in an interview published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Wednesday.

Kozhin said the Rossia brand would be maintained only for planes used for transporting top government officials. (MT)

Uralkali Targets $1Bln Float

Uralkali, the world's fifth-largest potash fertilizer producer, hopes to raise up to $1 billion in a secondary share offering by floating more shares than earlier planned, a source said Wednesday.

The banking source close to the deal said the company now planned to float 12.5 percent and potentially 15 percent of its stock including a greenshoe option, up from the previously planned 10 percent. (Reuters)

UES Sees Limit on Buyback

Unified Energy System may spend less than 50 billion rubles ($2 billion) buying back shares of stakeholders opposed to the breakup of the company, said the company's chief financial officer, Sergei Dubinin, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Shareholders will vote later this month on the breakup of the national power utility. The company raised a loan of 50 billion rubles to finance the buyback. (Bloomberg)