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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

LUKoil Seeks Arrangers

LONDON -- LUKoil is seeking to raise $1 billion in a new European Commercial Paper program, Interfax said Wednesday.

LUKoil will soon name arrangers for the program, Interfax said, without citing its source. LUKoil also plans to issue bonds later this year to help finance an upgrade of refineries that will cost $3 billion. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Reserves Plans

Rosneft plans to add 138 million tons of oil reserves this year, 1.5 times as much as it plans to produce, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing the company's vice president for production, Mikhail Stavsky.

Rosneft expects to produce 92.3 million tons of crude oil this year, Interfax reported. The company will increase its capital expenditures 40 percent as it drills more, the agency said, without specifying the amount. (Bloomberg)

RusAl to Raise $10Bln?

LONDON -- United Company RusAl, the company formed from the merger of Russian Aluminum and SUAL Group, plans to raise $10 billion in an IPO in London, the Times of London newspaper said Wednesday, without citing a source.

RusAl and SUAL agreed to merge on Wednesday to form the world's largest aluminum maker with annual sales of $12 billion. (Bloomberg)

Arms Seller's Holding Plan

Arms exporter Rosoboronexport wants to unite 10 producers of composite materials to supply military-aircraft manufacturers, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

Russia needs the holding because of the critical situation in supplying weapons and military aircraft makers with composite materials, the newspaper said, citing a letter by Rosoboronexport CEO Sergei Chemezov to the head of the Federal Industry Agency, Boris Alyoshin. (Bloomberg)

PwC Hopeful on License

PricewaterhouseCoopers expects the extension of its Russian auditing license to be settled by next week, the company said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

The firm's current license was issued by the Finance Ministry in May 2002 and is due to expire May 20. PwC was handed a 16.8 million ruble ($645,200) fine for irregularities in its auditing of Yukos from 2002 to 2004. (MT)

Stock Markets to Slow

Oleg Vyugin, head of the Federal Service for Financial Markets, said Wednesday that he anticipated the growth rate of Russian stock markets to dip drastically in the near future.

The stock markets have grown very quickly over the last two years "but this process has clearly come to an end," Vyugin said.

Vyugin also noted that he did not expect earlier closing times in the Russian stock exchanges taking effect from next week to have any significant impact on the volume of trade. (MT)

Glonass to Start by 2007

The Glonass global navigation system will be inaugurated this year, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday, RIA-Novosti reported.

"I am certain that by the end of the year, the Federal Space Agency will have fulfilled its commitments and have 18 satellites in orbit," Ivanov said.

Russia set aside $181.4 million for the Glonass program in 2006, and a further $380 million for 2007, the agency reported. (MT)

Raiffeisen Profit Surges

VIENNA -- Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding, Russia's biggest foreign lender, said fourth-quarter profit soared more than sixfold after the sale of a Ukrainian unit and from revenue growth in Eastern Europe.

Net income increased to 643 million euros ($859 million) from 103.3 million euros a year earlier, Vienna-based Raiffeisen said Wednesday. That surpassed analysts' 612 million euro median estimate. Net interest income climbed 42 percent to 513.1 million euros. (Bloomberg)

36.6 Sales Increase 72%

Pharmacy Chain 36.6 said Wednesday that annual sales jumped 72 percent to $525 million on new outlets and acquisitions.

Revenue climbed 90 percent to $385 million at its pharmacy business, the company said in a statement that gave preliminary annual results according to management reports. The company did not give net income figures and will release earnings according to international financial reporting standards at the end of 2007's first half. (Bloomberg)

Baltika Plans Dividend Rise

The board of Baltika Breweries, the country's largest beermaker, plans to increase annual dividends 62 percent after the company posted a record profit.

The board voted to increase the payout to 39.50 rubles per share ($1.52) from 24.33 rubles in 2005, the firm said Wednesday. Baltika said this month that net income rose 42 percent to $442 million in 2006 after it acquired three smaller rivals. (Bloomberg)

Mobile Phone Ratings

Nokia and Samsung are the best-known mobile phone brands in the country, according to a survey released Wednesday by state-owned polling agency VTsIOM.

Fifty-six percent of respondents could identify Nokia, while recognition of Samsung, Motorola and Siemens stands at 46, 42 and 37 percent respectively.

Nokia also topped the poll for the highest-quality telephones, with 44 percent of respondents saying that they considered it the best company. (MT)

Ukrtelecom Stake on Offer

KIEV -- Ukraine will sell a 15 percent stake in national telephone company Ukrtelecom to foreign investors in August, seeking to raise $1.5 billion, Ukrainian Finance Minister Mykola Azarov said Wednesday.

The sale on an unspecified stock market is part of a larger proposal to divest 42.86 percent of the shares, Azarov said. The state will sell 5 percent on the Kiev bourse from March 28 to July 23 . (Bloomberg)

Agro Bank Seeks Loan

Russian Agricultural Bank, a state lender to the farming industry, plans to borrow as much as $1.5 billion by June to help finance the opening of 500 new branches.

The bank will borrow $500 million from a group of banks "soon" and sell $1 billion of bonds in May, chairman Yury Trushin said in an interview in Vedomosti on Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

WBD Annual Profit Triples

Dairy company and juice maker Wimm-Bill-Dann said annual profit more than tripled as rising incomes boosted consumption.

Net income surged to $108.5 million from $30.3 million in 2005, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Sales climbed 26 percent to $1.76 billion, topping the survey's $1.73 billion estimate. (Bloomberg)