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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

IEA Concerned on Gazprom



ATHENS -- The International Energy Agency, which advises 26 petroleum-consuming countries, is concerned that Gazprom is not investing enough to increase its natural gas reserves, the head of the IEA said.

Output at Gazprom's gas fields is decreasing, and the IEA is concerned that the company might not be able to supply all the fuel needed by Western Europe as early as 2010, IEA director Claude Mandil said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)




OGK-5 Carbon Credits



Wholesale electricity generator OGK-5 aims to sell $8 million in emission-reduction credits in international markets after upgrading one of its four power stations to use less natural gas.

The company could earn $8 million selling the credits after installing a new combined-cycle turbine at its Nevinnomysskaya station in southern Russia, Nikolai Morilov, OGK-5's head of strategy, said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)




Belarus Privatization



MINSK -- Belarus is considering the privatization of state-owned assets and international borrowing to offset higher energy prices but will allow no cheap sell-offs of industry, Belarus' prime minister said Wednesday.

"If anyone thinks he can buy up our industry for mere pennies, let me just say that this will not happen," the official BelTA news agency quoted Belarussian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky as saying. (Reuters)




Kharyaga Inspections



Environmental inspectors will start further checks of Total's Kharyaga project in the western Arctic on March 12, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified state official.

Regulators will review whether Total has violated its license by failing to produce enough oil, Interfax said. The French company blamed low output in part on lack of access to the country's oil pipeline system. (Bloomberg)




Inflation Rate to Slow Down



The annual inflation rate will continue to ease and may slow to below 7.5 percent this year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said Wednesday.

"Inflation will be no higher than 7.5 percent this year," Zhukov said.

President Vladimir Putin said this month that the country must lower the rate to between 4 percent and 5 percent in the coming years to ensure wage stability. Consumer prices advanced 9 percent last year, the lowest since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. (Bloomberg)




LUKoil to Expand Exports



ST. PETERSBURG -- LUKoil may invest $150 million to expand its Baltic Sea terminal in Vysotsk and start exports of heavy crude, its head said Wednesday.

"We are considering the fourth phase at Vysotsk as a logistical chain to supply heavy Yarega crude to refineries in Western Europe," he said.

"We are building a chain, which would include oil production, preparation and initial processing in [the northern city of] Ukhta and its delivery to our refinery in Western Europe, which I hope we will buy in the future," he added. (Reuters)




Energy Venture Opposed



The head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, Igor Artemyev, strongly opposes a proposed joint venture between Gazprom and coal firm SUEK, he said Wednesday. "I am personally against it. My attitude to the deal is negative," Artemyev said. "This is a repeat, a second attempt at monopolizing energy via the fuel cycle," he said. (Reuters)




VAT Change in Doubt



The government will not raise the 13 percent personal income tax, the first major bill President Vladimir Putin signed after coming to power.

"There are no plans to alter the tax any time soon," Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov said Wednesday at a conference in Moscow organized by small and mid-sized business association Opora. (Bloomberg)




Transneft to Borrow $8Bln



State-owned oil pipeline operator Transneft plans to borrow $8 billion by the end of 2008, Interfax said Tuesday, citing an unidentified banker.

Transneft, which last week placed its first international bond, needs to raise the cash to pay for an $11 billion pipeline from Siberia to the Pacific Ocean, the agency said. Transneft will take $3 billion from its own cash flow and raise an additional $3 billion in loans and $5 billion in eurobonds, Interfax cited the banker as saying. (Bloomberg)




RBC to Sell IT Unit



RBC Information Systems, owner of the only Russian-language television channel dedicated to business, plans to separate its IT unit and sell stock in the business to current shareholders.

RBC, which plans to focus on the media business, approved the separation at a board meeting Tuesday, the company said Wednesday. The board will call an extraordinary shareholder meeting April 24 to approve the transaction. (Bloomberg)




Matsushita Seeks Expansion



TOKYO -- Matsushita Electric Industrial, the world's biggest maker of plasma televisions, said it might award contracts to other companies to make the sets in Russia and produce liquid-crystal display televisions in India and Brazil.

The company may start making the televisions in Russia this summer, spokesman Hirotsugu Ryogoku said, confirming a report by the Nikkei newspaper Wednesday. (Bloomberg)




Rosneft Stock Sale Option



The government may sell more shares in oil company Rosneft after President Vladimir Putin steps down next year, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing an unidentified senior government official.

Rosneft's "privatization will continue" after Putin's successor is elected, probably after the formation of a new government, the agency cited the official as saying. (Bloomberg)




Mondadori Looks to Russia



Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, the publisher controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, plans to sign a joint venture to publish magazines in Russia by the end of March, Finanza & Mercati reported Wednesday, citing no one.

Mondadori CEO Maurizio Costa is negotiating with a "major Russian player" for the local edition of publications, including women's weekly Grazia, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom's Turkish Gas Deal



Gazprom has signed a deal to supply Shell's Turkish unit with gas until 2021, Gazprom said Wednesday.

Supplies will amount to 250 million cubic meters per year. Gazprom is supplying most of Turkey's gas needs via long-term deals with Turkish energy firm Botas, which is obliged to liberalize gas trading in the country. (Reuters)