Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Airbus Wins Aeroflot Order

Airbus, the world's biggest plane maker, won a contract to supply Aeroflot, Eastern Europe's biggest airline, with 15 new planes valued at $2.6 billion.

The company will receive the first of the long-range A330s late next year as an interim measure before production of the A350 begins, Aeroflot CEO Valery Okulov said Thursday. The company had been discussing the purchase of Boeing's rival plane, the 787 Dreamliner. The A350 is scheduled to enter service in 2013, five years after the Dreamliner. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Board to Meet

The supervisory board of Sberbank will convene next week to discuss the pricing of a major rights issue, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Thursday.

Kudrin weighed into a controversy over the offering, saying investment bankers advising on the issue, rather than Sberbank's own managers, would propose the issue's pricing to the supervisory board of Russia's No. 1 bank.

"Not the Sberbank management board, but the consultants, will propose the bid price and structure to the supervisory board," Kudrin, who sits on the supervisory board, said at a news briefing. (Reuters)

AvtoVAZ Sales Fall

Russian car sales by the country's largest carmaker AvtoVAZ fell by 3.5 percent in 2006, failing to benefit from another bumper year in the Russian market which is increasingly dominated by foreign makers.

AvtoVAZ, producer of Lada cars, said in a statement that it had sold 625,000 cars in Russia last year, down from 648,000 in 2005. But exports rose to 99,000 cars from 96,500 in 2005 as it expanded sales in countries of the former Soviet Union, Iran and Egypt. (Reuters)

Sistema Denies Netia Report

Sistema, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding company, said it was not in talks to buy phone companies or any other assets in Poland, denying a report in a Polish newspaper.

"We are not in talks to buy any assets in Poland," Sistema spokeswoman Irina Potekhina said Thursday. Parkiet newspaper cited a person it didn't identify as saying Sistema was seeking to buy stakes in Netia SA, Poland's second-largest phone company, and P4 Sp. z o.o., the Netia affiliate that is building Poland's fourth mobile-phone network. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft's Vankor Spending

State oil company Rosneft will double investment at its Vankor field in Siberia after proven reserves increased tenfold, RIA-Novosti said, citing CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov.

Rosneft will spend $1.5 billion developing Vankor in 2007, Bogdanchikov said after touring the project, the state-run news service said. Vankor's proven oil reserves have risen tenfold since an original estimate of 40 million tons and proven gas reserves have grown to 100 billion cubic meters, Bogdanchikov was cited as saying. (Bloomberg)

City to Claim Pulkovo

The Kremlin will transfer ownership of St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport to the city after the regional government lobbied to take over the company instead of having it auctioned off, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The airport needs as much as $1.2 billion in investment and the city plans to find a private backer to provide funds in exchange for a share in the airport, the newspaper said, citing Igor Grechukhin, the director of the Economy Ministry's property relations department. (Bloomberg)

Centrica Not Targeted

Gazprom has not yet made a formal bid for British utility Centrica, and any deal would have to have a purely commercial -- not a political -- basis, Britain's trade minister said Thursday.

"No move has been made by Gazprom," British Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said during a visit to Moscow. Darling said Britain welcomed foreign investment into its energy market, but that the process was governed by clear market rules. (Reuters)

Summa Firm Plans Mine

Summa, a Russian firm involved primarily in telecoms, will invest $250 million to develop a zinc and lead deposit and build an ore concentrator in the republic of Sakha, the company said Thursday.

Privately owned Summa has won an auction to develop the Sardana deposit, which local authorities estimate may contain 4.2 million tons of zinc and 1.4 million tons of lead.

The statement did not provide more details on the project, including when the investment would take place. (Reuters)

Spain Eyes Road Deal

MADRID -- Several Spanish concession and construction companies said Thursday that they were interested in competing for a contract to build and run a toll road around St. Petersburg.

Pedro Perez, chairman of Sacyr Vallehermoso's concession unit Itinere, said the company would bid for the project. Jose Mayor Oreja, chairman of FCC's construction division, also expressed interest in the project which, according to early estimates, will involve investment of about 2.5 billion euros ($3.25 billion). (Reuters)

Sanoma Profits Disappoint

HELSINKI -- Top Nordic media house Sanoma WSOJ reported a smaller-than-expected rise in underlying fourth-quarter operating profit Thursday, due to a weak performance at its education and books unit.

The group -- which is the parent company of The Moscow Times -- said operating profit, excluding major non-recurring capital gains, was 73.9 million euros ($96 million), up from 68.8 million one year earlier.

In Russia, Sanoma's group, Independent Media-Sanoma Magazines, posted net sales of 90.2 million euros in 2006, an increase of 20 percent on 2005. (Reuters)

Pepsi Fined Over Music Ad

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service on Thursday announced that it was fining PepsiCo Holdings, an affiliate of U.S. beverage maker PepsiCo, 40,000 rubles ($1,500) for violating Russia's advertising laws.

A television commercial aired by PepsiCo in which a group of young people play music and drink Pepsi to the chagrin of their neighbor did not comply with Russian legislation, the anti-monopoly watchdog said. The commercial violates legislation under which advertising must not urge people to break laws, in this case a law forbidding disturbance of people's peace and quiet at night, the service said. (MT)

Transneft Pick Organizers

Oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has named Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to organize its seven-year benchmark eurobond in dollars, a banking source said Thursday.

Transneft has said it needs money to fund construction of a giant pipeline to China and the Pacific coast. (Reuters)