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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom Eyes Power Stake

Gazprom wants to control one-fifth of the country's electricity capacity after national utility Unified Energy Systems is broken up, Vedomosti said Monday, citing two unidentified members of UES's board.

Gazprom already owns 10.5 percent of UES directly, and 1 percent is held by Siberian Coal & Energy, which formed a power venture with Gazprom this year, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Consumer Prices to Grow

Consumer prices will probably grow no more than 0.6 percent in May, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Monday.

The monthly pace of price growth will be from 0.5 percent to 0.6 percent in May, the ministry said in a report posted on its web site.

"The slowing pace of inflation that we have seen recently is probably over," Alexander Morozov, chief economist at HSBC Bank in Moscow, said Monday. (Bloomberg)

GDP Up 7.1% in April

Gross domestic product grew by 7.1 percent in April, year on year, compared with 7.4 percent in March, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said in its monthly economic report Monday.

The figure is in line with a number announced earlier by Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref. (Reuters)

Ministry Inventories Wells

The Natural Resources Ministry has inventoried all the oil wells in Russia, Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev told President Vladimir Putin at a meeting Monday, Interfax reported.

"The work has been carried out. All the [248,000 production wells and 64,000 exploration] wells were checked for ownership and location," Trutnev said. "I hope that there are no more that have not been accounted for."

He also said that in the course of the inventory, wells were discovered that posed an environmental threat. (MT)

Fradkov Visits Finland

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will arrive in Finland on Tuesday for official talks with Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, Interfax reported Monday.

The two are expected to discuss bilateral trade and economic ties, as well recent diplomatic differences between Russia and the European Union. Fradkov and Vanhanen are also expected to discuss the wood processing and forestry industries within the framework of Russia's World Trade Organization bid, Fradkov said. (MT)

Cheap Kalina in the Cards

AvtoVAZ plans to make a budget version of its Kalina model to fill the gap when production of its cheapest car, the Klassika, ends in 2009, Vedomosti said Monday, citing the company's chief executive officer, Vladimir Artyakov.

The company hopes to cut $700 to $2,000 from the Kalina sedan's list price, which is currently $9,800. (Bloomberg)

Iran Starts Making KamAZ

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran started producing KamAZ trucks in the northwestern city of Tabriz, Sarmayeh newspaper reported Monday.

The assembly line's capacity will reach an annual 3,000 trucks of three different models, the newspaper said. The project is through a $6.5 million joint investment between Iran's private-owned Rakhsh Khodro Diesel Company and the republic of Tatarstan, where KamAZ is based, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Sistema Increases Dividend

Billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema holding company will increase its dividends, paying out 463.2 million rubles ($17.9 million) on last year's profit, the company said Monday.

Sistema's board proposed paying 48 rubles per common share, the company said. Sistema will put the dividend to a shareholder vote June 30. (Bloomberg)

Cukurova Files Lawsuit

ISTANBUL -- Cukurova Group, which controls Turkey's biggest mobile phone operator Turkcell, filed a lawsuit against Alfa Group to reclaim the shares it offered as collateral for a loan in 2005.

Cukurova on Friday asked a British Virgin Islands court to force Alfa to accept an early repayment of $1.35 billion plus interest, and lift the collateral status on 13.8 percent of Turkcell shares, according to a filing with the Istanbul Stock Exchange on Monday. (Reuters)

Debt Repayment to Korea

SEOUL, South Korea -- Russia will repay $1.33 billion in debt to South Korea over the next 19 years, Maeil Business Newspaper reported Monday, citing an unidentified South Korean government official.

In June, Russia will begin paying $35 million in cash every six months until 2025 to repay part of $1.47 billion it borrowed from South Korea in 1991 as an economic cooperation loan, the Korean-language newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine Calls for Gas Prices

ROME -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Europe should set a price for the transport and sale of natural gas, according to an interview published Monday in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper.

"No European country is able to independently conduct an effective energy policy, and Ukraine is no exception," Yushchenko said. Asked whether there should be European tariffs for the sale and transport of natural gas, he replied: "You got it right -- European tariffs in both cases." (Bloomberg)

Rostelecom May Quit NYSE

Rostelecom may decide to remove its shares from trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Interfax reported Monday, citing CEO Dmitry Yerokhin.

The board of Rostelecom may decide within a month to end the listing, the agency reported. Rostelecom began to trade on NYSE in 1998 and 5.9 percent of the company's shares were American Depositary Receipts last year, down from 23.6 percent a year earlier, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Some Georgians to Get Visas

Russia will resume issuing visas to some Georgian citizens from May 29, Interfax reported Monday, citing Vyacheslav Kovalenko, Russia's ambassador to Georgia.

"We will issue visas to citizens whose families live in Russia. … An invitation forwarded by one family member to another will be enough to issue a visa," Kovalenko said. Georgian citizens with temporary residence permits will also be eligible for Russian entry visas, Kovalenko said, Interfax reported. (MT)

UAC May Seek Partners

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday that the United Aircraft Corporation, or UAC, may seek to attract foreign investment for its projects to develop civilian aircraft, Interfax reported.

"Competition does not rule out cooperation in individual areas with partners such as Boeing and Airbus," Ivanov said at a UAC board meeting. Ivanov also urged the UAC to become competitive "in all niches and sectors," including short-haul and regional aircraft, he said, the agency reported. (MT)