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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Severstal Posts Profit Drop

LONDON -- Steelmaker Severstal posted a small fall in annual profit Monday but said the outlook for 2007 was positive, supported by solid expectations for steel prices in all major regions.

Severstal, also the country's second-largest coking coal miner, said 2006 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were $3 billion as revenue rose 7.3 percent to a record $12.4 billion. (Reuters)

Oil Fund Advances 3.8%

The oil fund rose to $108.1 billion in March as the world's biggest energy exporter benefited from high oil and gas prices.

The Stabilization Fund rose 3.8 percent in the month from February, the Finance Ministry said on its web site Monday. The fund held $46.75 billion, 35.45 billion euros and 5.47 billion pounds April 1. (Bloomberg)

Customs Revenue at $26Bln

Government budget revenue from customs reached 678.51 billion rubles ($26.1 billion) in the first quarter of this year, the Federal Customs Service said Monday.

The government budget received 249.31 billion rubles in revenue from the customs service for the month of March, the service said in a statement.

Russia will probably post a government budget surplus of 785.7 billion rubles, or 2.56 percent of gross domestic product this year, the Finance Ministry said. (Bloomberg)

Yevroset to Start Loans

Yevroset plans to begin consumer lending in its outlets, Kommersant reported Monday, without citing anyone.

The company, owned by Yevgeny Chichvarkin and Timur Artemyev, will spend between $20 million and $30 million to set up the banking system in its stores, the newspaper said.

The system will allow Yevroset to save banking costs that now make up between 1.5 percent and 2 percent of its revenue, Kommersant cited Anton Tabakh, an analyst at UralSib in Moscow, as saying. (Bloomberg)

Rosinter Plans IPO

Rosinter Restaurants Holding plans an initial public offering and is consulting with Renaissance Capital investment bank, Interfax said, citing an unidentified company official.

The restaurant chain, whose revenue rose 30 percent to $205 million last year, plans the IPO for May, the agency said, citing a second unidentified person. (Bloomberg)

Heineken Seeks 20% Share

Heineken Russia plans to control at least 20 percent of the country's beer market by 2009 after modernizing a Siberian unit, Vedomosti reported.

The company invested 755 million rubles ($29 million) from October 2004 to March 2007 in a brewery in Novosibirsk and plans to spend 545 million rubles more on the plant by the end of 2008, the newspaper said Monday, citing Alexei Chernyayev, director for operations. (Bloomberg)

Sovcomflot Plans Shares Sale

LONDON -- State-owned shipping company Sovcomflot plans an initial public offering this year in Moscow, British newspaper The Guardian said Monday, citing CEO Sergei Frank.

The company, which is valued at about $1.97 billion "is committed" to improving its financial disclosure, upgrading its corporate governance and finally "benchmarking ourselves against the stock market," the newspaper cited Frank as saying. (Bloomberg)

TMK Eyes Stock Listings

TMK, the world's third-largest steel pipe maker, wants to list on the MICEX bourse and on the New York Stock Exchange after floating its shares on the London Stock Exchange last year, a TMK executive said Monday.

"We want to broaden our geography and have already sent an application to MICEX. … We are also eyeing New York because our rivals are listed in New York, Mexico City, Milan and Buenos Aires," TMK's deputy general director Vladimir Shmatovich said. (Reuters)

Chinese to Buy Rosneft Fuel

SHANGHAI -- China National Aviation Fuel, parent of China Aviation Oil, agreed to buy jet fuel from Rosneft.

The two companies will boost cooperation in jet fuel business, China National Aviation said on its web site, without providing details of when supplies would start. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Bulgaria Court Win

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- A Bulgarian court froze trading in shares of Petrol Holding, the majority owner of Petrol AD, the country's biggest fuel retailer, in a dispute with LUKoil Bulgaria.

LUKoil Bulgaria, a unit of LUKoil, sought the freeze because of a 1.13 billion lev ($770 million) debt it claims Petrol Holding owes it. If Petrol Holding does not pay the debt, LUKoil Bulgaria will have the right to sell the shares, LUKoil Bulgaria said Monday. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil's $500M Bond Sale

LUKoil plans to sell at least $500 million of bonds this year, Interfax reported, citing CEO Vagit Alekperov.

The bond sale, the company's first in dollars since 2002, probably will take place by July, the service cited Alekperov as saying Monday.

LUKoil plans to spend $3 billion this year upgrading its refining facilities. The company had total debt as of Sept. 30 of $4.4 billion, less than half its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. (Bloomberg)

Highland Gold Gets $90M

Highland Gold Mining said Monday that it had restructured its debt, raising two new loans for $90 million from MDM and Gazprombank.

The loans have been used to complete the early repayment of a syndicated loan of approximately $25.6 million, Highland said. The remainder was used to fund the company's Novoshirokinskoye joint venture with Glencore-owned Kazzinc to develop a gold, lead and zinc deposit and the Maiskoye and Taseyevskoye gold deposits. (Reuters)

Polyus Sets Up New Unit

Gold-mining company Polyus Gold set up a separate exploration unit to focus on a greenfield projects.

Former chief financial officer Alexei Osenmuk will head the subsidiary that aims to make the exploration part of the business more transparent, Polyus said Monday. Polyus Exploration will "help raise the investment appeal" of the company's attempts to boost reserves with new finds, Polyus CEO Yevgeny Ivanov said. (Bloomberg)

Severstal to Sell Italian Unit

Severstal said it accepted a 215 million euro ($288 million) offer from the Lucchini family for a unit it acquired in 2005.

Sinpar, a company representing the family, will acquire the Sidermeccanica high-technology steel products unit, Severstal said Monday. The unit is a direct subsidiary of Lucchini Group, in which Severstal holds 71 percent and the family holds the rest. (Bloomberg)