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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Turkmens in Nabucco Talks

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- The European Union has started negotiations with the Central Asian state of Turkmenistan on its participation in the Nabucco project, designed to ease the bloc's dependence on Russian gas, a senior EU official said Tuesday.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat, said after meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov that the talks were "constructive." (Reuters)

TGK-9 Offers Low Buyout

Regional electricity producer TGK-9, which will complete a share sale this month, will offer a buyout of 0.665 kopeks per share to investors who do not support its reorganization plan, the firm said Tuesday.

With 3.3 gigawatts of installed capacity, TGK-9 provides heat and power to the Perm and Sverdlovsk regions and the Komi republic.

The share offer price was roughly 8 percent lower than the price of TGK-9's stock Tuesday. (Reuters)

Dairy Tariff Cut to 5%

Russia will slash import duties on milk, butter, cheese and cottage cheese to 5 percent from 15 percent because inflation was faster than the government had forecast in September, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

A resolution on the duty will be signed by the end of the week and will come into effect in a month's time, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified government official. (Bloomberg)

Trade Surplus Declines

The trade surplus shrank 17 percent in the first eight months of the year to $95.9 billion, the Federal Customs Service said Tuesday.

The surplus dropped from $115.6 billion in the January-August period last year, the Moscow-based customs office said in a statement. Energy, including crude oil and natural gas, amounted to 67 percent of the country's total exports to countries outside of the former Soviet Union. (Bloomberg)

Severstal to Bid for Mines

Severstal, which is seeking to diversify into gold, may pay as much as $200 million for two mines in Siberia, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

Severstal wants to buy the Tabornoye and Pogromnoye deposits, which produce 2 tons of gold per year, from Arlan investment company, the newspaper reported, citing two unidentified people familiar with the plan. (Bloomberg)

Moncrief Sues Gazprom

BERLIN -- Moncrief Oil International, a privately held U.S. gas and oil company, sued Gazprom, claiming it has rights to develop a Russian gas field.

Moncrief filed the lawsuit at the Regional Court of Berlin, the Texas-based company said in a statement Tuesday. BASF and E.On also have stakes in the disputed field, called Yuzhno-Russkoye, Moncrief said. The U.S. company claims it has prior rights to the field, which Gazprom denies. (Bloomberg)

Moldovan Wine to Resume

Moldovan wine producers will resume exports to Russia after an accord reached by the two countries during last weekend's CIS summit in Dushanbe, Interfax reported Tuesday.

"Wine makers that have received a positive assessment of the products from Russian authorities can begin exporting wine," Valery Mironescu, general director of the Moldova-Vin agricultural firm, told reporters on Tuesday. (MT)

Sistema to Employ ZTE

Sistema holding company plans to employ phone-equipment maker ZTE of China to build networks in former Soviet countries, Kommersant reported Tuesday, citing two unidentified people in the Russian company.

Sistema will contract ZTE to build third-generation networks in former Soviet countries except Russia, and ZTE will become the main supplier for its phone unit Comstar United Telesystems, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Sistema Warns Mobile Firms

Sistema, which controls the country's largest mobile-phone company, has warned VimpelCom and its shareholder Telenor against buying a Kyrgyz phone company whose ownership it disputes, Sistema said in a statement Tuesday.

VimpelCom and Norway's Telenor should carefully consider their participation in the purchase of Kyrgyz operator Sky Mobile, Sistema said. It said Morgan Stanley, which is organizing the bid, should reconsider the sale. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Sells Uzbek Gas

LUKoil will sell as much as 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas from projects in Uzbekistan next year to Gazprom, which controls export pipelines from the region, Grigory Volchek, a spokesman for LUKoil's overseas arm, said Monday.

Gazprom agreed to buy all of the natural gas produced at the Khauzak-Shady-Kandym-Kungrad project for a price that "will ensure a profit," Volchek said. Production will start this year, he said. (Bloomberg)