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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

New Polish Meat Checks?

WARSAW -- Russian veterinary inspectors want to conduct new checks at Polish meat plants before considering lifting the ban on imports from Poland, the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reported Tuesday.

Russia, which has prohibited imports of meat from Poland since November 2005, said documents on the state of Polish meatpackers presented by the European Commission were inadequate, the newspaper reported. The Polish government and the European Union aim to end the ban by May, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft Profits Rise

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Gazprom, said profit rose to 15.2 billion rubles ($590 million) in the fourth quarter of 2006, without giving comparative figures for the previous year.

Gazprom Neft posted full-year net income of 62.8 billion rubles, the company said Tuesday in a statement. That's a 50 percent rise from 2005, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Fashion Retailer to Sell Stake

Fashion Continent, a Russian clothing retailer, will sell as much as one-fifth of the company to investors before an IPO in 2009, Vedomosti reported.

Fashion Continent is in talks with several investors about selling 10 percent to 20 percent of the company and may complete the transaction by July, Alexander Popov, managing partner of the retailer's main store chain InCity, told the newspaper. Popov did not tell the newspaper who the potential investors were. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Eyes German Buy

LUKoil is considering buying a German refinery from its strategic partner and major shareholder U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips, a LUKoil executive said Tuesday.

"We understand that we need at least a couple of refineries in Europe. We are considering a specific proposal [from Conoco], to buy and modernize [the plant]," LUKoil's first vice president Vladimir Nekrasov said. (Reuters)

Azeris to Cut Oil Exports

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Azerbaijan will slash oil exports to the port of Novorossiisk in the second quarter as the country's top oil project will reroute crude to the Mediterranean, an official said Tuesday.

The official from Azerbaijan's state oil company Socar said his firm would continue shipping up to 60,000 tons per month to Novorossiisk in the second quarter while a BP-led group would send all volumes to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The BP-led group has been sending up to 300,000 tons per month to Novorossiisk in the first quarter. (Reuters)

Trade Surplus Narrows

The trade surplus narrowed to $28 billion in the first quarter of this year, Central Bank Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said Tuesday.

The surplus narrowed from the first quarter of 2006, Ulyukayev told reporters. (Bloomberg)

Utilities to Use More Coal

Electricity producers will boost coal consumption 50 percent within four years, Interfax said Tuesday, citing Yury Udaltsov, a member of national power utility Unified Energy Systems' board.

Power producers will add mainly gas-fired capacity until 2010 and then switch to coal-fired generation, Udaltsov said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Morozov Takes Up Post

Denis Morozov officially took up his position as CEO of Norilsk Nickel on Tuesday, the company said on its web site.

Morozov had been unanimously elected as head of the company's board at a meeting March 16.

"The company is a well operating entity today," Morozov said in a statement on the web site. "I would like to emphasize that all of the projects launched recently will be completed as scheduled to the benefit of all our shareholders." (MT)

Lavrov to Visit Ashgabat

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will begin an official two-day visit to Turkmenistan on Wednesday, Interfax reported Tuesday.

During his visit, Lavrov will meet with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, the agency said, citing a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

"The aim is to discuss our current and prospective economic relations. Russia believes it is important to take steps in order to give our bilateral economic relations a more stable character," the spokesmen said. (MT)

Two Satellites Activated

Two out of the three Glonass navigation satellites launched late last year have been activated, a Russian cosmonautical engineering research institute spokesman said Tuesday, Interfax reported.

"Two out of the three satellites are fully operational." spokesman Alexander Zubakhin said. "Work is still ongoing on collating the data necessary to get the third satellite working."

There are now 13 operational Glonass satellites. Russia plans to have a full complement of 24 operational satellites by 2009. (MT)

OST to Build Homes

OST Group, one of Russia's biggest alcohol producers, plans to spend about 2.5 billion rubles ($96 million) to build housing and shopping centers in the region around Moscow, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

OST will build two malls and six residential complexes over the next two years, covering a combined space of about 275,000 square meters, the newspaper said, citing OST general director Alexander Lazuto. (Bloomberg)

Finns to Buy Paper Firm

HELSINKI -- Poeyry, a Finnish engineering company, agreed to buy Giprobum Engineering to add designer of pulp and paper machines in Russia.

Poeyry will acquire 70 percent of Giprobum with the option to buy the other 30 percent in the first half of 2009, the Vantaa, Finland-based company said Tuesday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Vysotsk Cuts Diesel Exports

ST. PETERSBURG -- LUKoil cut diesel exports from its Baltic Sea port of Vysotsk in March as traders said the firm sold more domestically while awaiting a cut in export duties starting April.

LUKoil said Tuesday diesel exports fell to 263,587 tons from 331,788 tons in February and 417,000 tons in March 2006. (Reuters)

EU to Cut Aluminum Duty

European Union nations agreed Tuesday to halve a 6 percent duty on unalloyed-aluminum imports to boost shipments from Russia.

EU governments gave the go-ahead for reducing the duty to 3 percent after Poland demanded import relief and the European Commission proposed to phase out the levy in two-step process by 2009. (Bloomberg)