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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Airline Passengers Stranded

Thousands of Russian airline passengers were stranded in airports in Moscow and a number of other cities abroad after VIM-Avia canceled around ten flights over the weekend, Interfax reported Sunday.

Among the affected flights were the flights between Moscow and Salzburg, Sharm El-Sheikh, Thessalonika, Khurgada, Istanbul and Goa. The flights were canceled for undisclosed technical reasons, the agency reported. VIM-Avia representatives failed to answer phone calls from Russian customers, Domodedovo Airport spokeswoman Irina Tyurina said, Interfax reported. (MT)

MTS Fined 40,000 Rubles

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service handed down a 40,000 ruble ($1,500) fine to Mobile TeleSystems on Friday for breaching advertising standards, the regulator said on its web site Friday.

The penalty was imposed after the service determined that the company had failed to disclose adequately the size of its connection fee in an advertising campaign for its promotional tariff offer last summer. The service found that the company had charged its clients $0.18 for the first minute of calls, instead of the $0.07 per minute tariff suggested by the advertising material. (MT)

Private Pensions Considered

The government may change pension laws to allow private asset managers to help workers save for retirement, Kommersant reported Friday.

Under the plan, Russian residents would fund their own retirement with privately managed savings and tax breaks, the newspaper said, citing documents signed by Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov. Individually funded retirement savings would be separate from the state's pension insurance system, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Sibir Production Rises

Sibir Energy, a Britain-based company that extracts oil in Siberia, said its share of production at two Russian projects rose to more than 43,000 barrels per day.

Output at the Salym fields, where Sibir has a 50 percent stake in a venture with Shell, rose to a record of more than 70,000 bpd, Sibir said Friday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Chelyabinsk Zinc Output

Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant, which produces 60 percent of the country's zinc, raised output 28 percent last year after securing steady supplies of raw


Production climbed to 148,384 tons of zinc and zinc alloys, used to strengthen steel, from 116,366 tons one year earlier, the company said Friday. Chelyabinsk Zinc sold 58 percent of total production to Russian steelmakers, mainly Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, Novolipetsk Steel, and Severstal, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Stora Enso to Build Factory

Stora Enso, the world's biggest papermaker, plans to spend $650 million building a plant in Russia, Vedomosti said Friday, citing an official in one of the locations that the Finnish company is considering.

The plant will produce 1 million tons of pulp and 500,000 tons of paper per year, the newspaper said, citing an official in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Stora Enso is also considering sites in the Vologda, Kostroma and Kirov regions, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

Novolipetsk Mulls Unit Sale

Novolipetsk Steel, Russia's most profitable producer of the metal, may sell an unprofitable coal mining company bought less than a year ago.

Novolipetsk has invested $151 million in Prokopievskugol, Russia's largest producer of high-grade coking coal, and it still is not making money.

"We don't exclude a sale," Anton Bazulev, Novolipetsk's head of investor and government relations, said Friday. (Bloomberg)

RWE Plans Gas Pipeline

FRANKFURT -- German power group RWE this week will announce its plans to invest $1.3 billion to build a natural gas pipeline from the Czech Republic to Belgium, Focus magazine reported Saturday.

RWE aims to create a new transport route into Western Europe for gas that the company is importing from Russia, the German magazine reported. RWE's Czech unit Transgas extended a contract in December in which Gazprom agreed to supply it gas until 2035. (Reuters)

Magnitogorsk Buys Miner

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, owner of Russia's biggest steel mill, bought a controlling stake in a Urals iron-ore producer to help shore up raw material supplies.

Magnitogorsk acquired 51 percent of Bakalskoye Rudoupravleniye for an undisclosed sum, the company said Friday. Bakalskoye Rudoupravleniye has 1 billion tons of iron-ore reserves, according to NPRO Ural, a holding that lists the ore miner as one of its assets. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Eyes Korean Oil

State-run oil company Rosneft will begin talks in March to establish a venture with Korea National Oil, RBC Daily reported Friday, without saying where it got the information.

Rosneft may offer a stake in developments such as Sakhalin-3 in return for participation in new or existing South Korean refineries, the daily said. Rosneft may be showing interest in Korea National Oil to stimulate better offers from India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. and China National Petroleum Corp., which are also interested in a Sakhalin-3 stake, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)