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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Russia, North Korea Debt



Russia and North Korea are close to settling Pyongyang's $8 billion debt to Moscow, Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov as saying Wednesday.

"The debt problem may be resolved soon through political means," Losyukov said. "This could help if the issue of economic assistance to North Korea arises." Losyukov added, however, that as of now the debt problem remained unresolved because of legal complications. (Reuters)




Fortum Eyes Russian Market



HELSINKI -- Finnish utility Fortum is eyeing business opportunities in Russian energy markets and will decide on the way ahead in 2007-2008, company executives said Wednesday.

"We are looking at Russia with a very big interest. I believe we will be able to grow our position in Russia further," CEO Mikael Lilius said. (Reuters)




MTS Sees Revenue Up 17%



Mobile TeleSystems said Wednesday that it expected its 2007 revenues to grow 15 to 17 percent, compared with growth of no less than 20 percent in 2006.

MTS's margin on earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization is expected at around 50 percent, unchanged from 2006. (Reuters)




MMK Plans Share Issue



Magnitogorsk, owner of Russia's largest steel plant, is issuing additional shares worth 13.6 percent of its existing share capital, a company document showed, in preparation for a London listing planned this year.

Magnitogorsk, Russia's third-largest steel maker, also revealed its largest shareholders as two companies owned by the same Cyprus-registered firm, Steelnet. MMK's vice president for commerce, Igor Viyer, said last November that the company planned to announce an initial public offering, probably in London, by April 2007. (Reuters)




New Train Tickets Coming



A new format for train tickets intended to cut down on counterfeits will be introduced from Sept. 1 this year, Russian Railways said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

The tickets will be imprinted with a specially perforated emblem of Russian Railways and will contain greater details of the organizations that issue and validate them. The new format will replace the current tickets, which have been in circulation since 1997. (MT)




Aeroflot Profits Up 46%



Flag carrier Aeroflot said Wednesday that its net profits rose 46.2 percent in January-September 2006 to reach $186.3 million, outstripping growth in headline sales.

The company said its sales grew 15.7 percent to $2.1 billion in January-September. Aeroflot CEO Valery Okulov had earlier forecast that net profits would rise to over $200 million for 2006 as a whole from $189.8 million in 2005. (Reuters)




Pork Imports to Resume



The animal and plant health watchdog said Wednesday that it would allow imports of pork and pork offal from the United States for retail trade from Feb. 1, which may increase U.S. pork imports.

Under this year's quota, the United States is allowed to import 49,000 tons of pork within a total quota of 484,800 tons at a discount tariff of 15 percent of the customs value, but no less than 0.15 euros ($0.19) per kilogram. (Reuters)




AirBridge Plans for Malev



BUDAPEST -- AirBridge, an investment vehicle for KrasAir co-owner Boris Abramovich, could spend as much as $51.8 million on Hungarian state airline Malev should it buy the carrier, Nepszava newspaper said.

AirBridge, which the Hungarian government picked for final talks in Malev's sale, expects to end talks in two to three weeks, and sign a purchase agreement in late February or early March, Nepszava reported, citing an AirBridge board member. (Bloomberg)




Korkunov's Rausing Stake



Andrei Korkunov, founder of the chocolate producer that bears his name, bought a minority stake owned by Hans Rausing before selling an 80 percent holding to the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company this month, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Rausing, owner of the Tetra Laval packaging company, sold the stake in A. Korkunov last year, Korkunov said. (Bloomberg)




Aeroflot to Form Subsidiary



Aeroflot approved creating a far eastern subsidiary to help it get a larger domestic market share and foster consolidation of the industry.

State-controlled Aeroflot's board on Tuesday approved the plan under which the airline will take over a number of government-owned carriers operating in the country's Far East, Kirill Budayev, deputy CEO for strategic and corporate development, said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)