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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Fradkov Visit to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov is visiting Pakistan for three days this week to discuss closer economic ties, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

It will be Fradkov's first visit to Pakistan and the second by a Russian prime minister since 1969. He was to arrive in Islamabad on Wednesday and meet with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, the ministry said in a statement. (AP)

Gas Tax Faces Delay

Russia will not make a decision on raising taxes on gas extraction until 2008, Interfax said Tuesday, citing an unidentified person at the Economic Development and Trade Ministry.

The Cabinet discussed raising the tax on gas producers at a meeting last week, the agency reported. The government has been considering raising the tax to 710 rubles ($27.40) from 147 rubles, the agency said, citing representatives from independent gas producers. (Bloomberg)

Russia, India Missile Deal

India signed an option to buy more multiple-rocket launch systems from Russia, in what could become the country's biggest export order for land forces, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

India agreed at the end of 2005 to buy 38 systems from Russia under a contract valued at $450 million, the newspaper said, citing its own information and taking into account equipment and training. The Indian Defense Ministry signed an option for deliveries of 24 more systems valued at $300 million last week, Kommersant said, citing unidentified people at Motovilikhinskiye Zavody, which makes the weapons. (Bloomberg)

Alitalia Investment Plans

ROME -- Aeroflot plans to invest from 670 million euros ($899 million) to 690 million euros in a bid for Alitalia, Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper reported Wednesday without saying where it got the information.

Investors interested in buying at least 39.9 percent of the unprofitable airline from the Italian government have to make nonbinding preliminary bids by April 16. Any buyer will then have to make an offer for the whole company, which has a market value of about 1.4 billion euros. (Bloomberg)

RWE Seeks Pollution Permit

FRANKFURT -- Germany's second-largest utility, RWE, plans to obtain additional pollution allowances for its power plants from Russian companies, a German newspaper reported Wednesday.

The utility agreed with state-owned power company UES and a coal producer in a letter of intent on several projects, Handelsblatt said, citing the head of RWE's political office, Henning Rentz. The size of the projects is still small, Rentz added, without giving a value. (Reuters)

Aricom Net Loss Narrows

LONDON -- Aricom, a British miner of iron ore and titanium in Russia, said its loss narrowed last year after making more money from investments.

The net loss was $1.9 million, from $3.4 million in 2005, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Investment revenue climbed more than twentyfold to $5 million. Aricom's projects target markets in Russia and China, which account for about 40 percent of demand for global shipments of iron ore, the company said. (Bloomberg)

OGK-5 Electricity Sales

Wholesale power generator OGK-5 sold only 2.1 percent of its electricity on the open market in the first quarter as Russia took its first steps toward competition for the industry.

The power company sold about 9.4 billion kilowatt hours of power through state-regulated bilateral contracts, the company said Wednesday. The company's total output fell to 9.6 billion kilowatt hours from 11 billion kilowatt hours one year earlier because the weather turned warmer. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Storage in Europe

Gazprom plans to develop its foreign network of underground natural gas tanks, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing Sergei Khan, who is in charge of underground gas storage at the company.

Gazprom wants to go from gas storage contracts to ownership of tanks in Germany, Austria and Britain, the news agency quoted Khan as saying Wednesday at an energy forum in St. Petersburg. (Bloomberg)

Poultry Output Seen Up

Russia's poultry output is expected to rise by 16 percent this year to about 1.8 million tons, cutting the share of imports in domestic consumption, senior agricultural officials said Wednesday.

"This year we expect a 250,000-ton increase in output. An increase of 60,000 tons achieved in the first quarter of this year shows this target is feasible," Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Mitin told a veterinary conference. (Reuters)

Boshoku to Sign Seat Deal

Toyota Boshoku will begin manufacturing car seats in Russia at the end of this year, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Wednesday, citing a five-year agreement with the firm.

Toyota Boshoku, a maker of bumpers, seat belts and other car parts, has agreed to invest more than 380 million rubles ($14.7 million) in production of seats for the Toyota Camry in Russia, the ministry said in a statement on its web site. Production will begin at the end of the year, the statement said. (Bloomberg)

Distraint on Petrol Lifted

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgarian fuel retailer Petrol said Wednesday that it had paid a 1,125,000 lev ($772,700) debt to the Bulgarian arm of LUKoil and a distraint on some of its shares has been lifted.

A Bulgarian court seized 1,125,000 of Petrol's shares on March 30 following a claim of debt to LUKoil's 140,000-barrels-per-day refinery Neftochim. (Reuters)

Kazakhs' Inflation Worries

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan may force lenders to hold more money with the country's central bank from the third quarter as the Central Asian country seeks to curb inflation and loan growth.

"We may toughen the requirements if inflation is higher than our forecast 8.2 percent," said Anvar Saidenov, chairman of the central bank, at a news conference Wednesday. He said in November that an oil price of more than $70 would drive inflation higher than 8.2 percent. (Bloomberg)

TGK-1 Posts $23M Profit

TGK-1, a St. Petersburg power company, said net profit was 598 million rubles ($23 million) last year, 2.5 times more than the utility expected.

Sales were 20.5 billion rubles under Russian accounting standards, TGK-1 said Wednesday in a statement. The utility began operating on Oct. 1, 2005. TGK-1, in which Finland's Fortum owns 25.7 percent, produced 23.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2006, the utility said. (Bloomberg)