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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

GM to Expand Capacity



General Motors will sharply expand production capacity at its new plant in St Petersburg to help handle increasing demand in Russia, GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster said Wednesday.

The plant, due to come on line late next year, will be expanded to handle 100,000 units per year instead of the 40,000 units originally planned, Forster said during a conference call with reporters after the carmaker released quarterly earnings. (Reuters)




Novatek Reserves Rise 2%



The country's top independent gas producer, Novatek, on Wednesday reported a 2 percent increase in total proved reserves in 2006, saying it had replaced its annual production by 144 percent.

The company, in which gas export monopoly Gazprom has a 19.4 percent stake, said total proven reserves rose to 4.66 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2006 from 4.57 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2005, under U.S. Security Exchange Commission rules. (Reuters)




LUKoil Lawsuit Denied



Petrol, Bulgaria's biggest fuel retailer, said LUKoil had not paid the court fee needed to begin a 90 million lev ($60 million) lawsuit with which it had threatened Petrol.

Petrol's chief financial officer, Tsvetan Dimitrov, said in a telephone interview Wednesday his company has not been notified by the court or by LUKoil of the contents of a lawsuit. (Bloomberg)




Mitsubishi's Sakhalin Hopes



AMSTERDAM -- Mitsubishi is confident that liquefied natural gas exports from the Sakhalin-2 project will begin in the middle of next year, a senior company official said Wednesday.

"We are quite sure that the start-up date of middle 2008 can be maintained. This is more than a target, we are very much hopeful," said Katsumi Kuroda, general manager of global gas at Mitsubishi, which is a Sakhalin shareholder. (Reuters)




Moroccan Nuclear Plant Bid



Russia's state builder of nuclear power stations said it submitted a bid to build Morocco's first reactor as it seeks to add to projects in Bulgaria, China, India and Iran.

Atomstroiexport executives will travel to the African country next week to view the construction site and fine-tune its bid, the company said in a statement. The builder is also in talks with Turkey's government and Turkish companies on expanding there. (Bloomberg)




EOS Seeks $1Bln for UES



EOS Russia, a newly formed investment company, is seeking as much as $1 billion over the next year to invest mainly in national power utility Unified Energy Systems, a stock scheduled to disappear by July 1, 2008.

The company, set up by former employees of Troika Dialog, aims to capitalize on the breakup of UES into separate generation, transmission, distribution and sales companies. (Bloomberg)




Merrill Lynch Gets License



U.S. Merrill Lynch has received a brokerage and dealing license in Russia, the country's market regulator said Wednesday amid a race among investment banks to capitalize on the Russian boom.

The Federal Service for Financial Markets said in a statement that the license had been granted to Merrill Lynch Securities, the bank's Russian subsidiary. Merrill last year hired Sergei Aleksashenko, a former first deputy head of the Central Bank, as a managing director in Moscow. (Reuters)




Carrefour to Open Stores



Carrefour plans to build a hypermarket and open two other stores in southern Russia, Vedomosti said Wednesday, citing Roman Lipetsky, a consultant to Carrefour.

Carrefour has bought a plot of land in Rostov-on-Don and plans to build a store there, Vedomosti said, citing Lipetsky. The firm also signed a rental agreement with a shopping mall in the same town, giving it retail space of 15,000 square meters. (Bloomberg)




Rail Price Hike Decision



Russia will decide this week how much to increase rail shipment prices for the next three years, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing deputy chairman of the Federal Tariffs Service, Vitaly Yevdokimenko.

Russian Railways has asked the government to increase rail shipment prices by as much as 13.5 percent next year, 9 percent in 2009 and 6.5 percent in 2010, the agency said. (Bloomberg)




Altimo Borrows $1.5Bln



Altimo, the telecoms arm of Alfa Group, has borrowed $1.5 billion from Deutsche Bank to develop projects in Europe and Asia, Altimo said Wednesday.

"The company has many times said it is eager to enter such rapidly developing markets of South and Southeast Asia as India, Indonesia and Vietnam," Altimo said in a statement. (Reuters)