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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Norilsk Plans New Energy

Norilsk Nickel will spin off noncore energy assets this year to create one of the country's largest private energy firms and it said Wednesday that the new company would be listed in the first quarter of 2008.

Norilsk said the new company would be registered by the end of 2007, pending shareholder approval in a vote scheduled for December. (Reuters)

KamAZ Execs Take Control

The management of truck maker KamAZ has amassed a controlling stake in the firm via stock purchases on the market ahead of a major stake sale by the state, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Vedomosti cited KamAZ's director, Sergei Kogogin, as saying a stake of just under 50 percent had been accumulated by "structures friendly to KamAZ's management." (Reuters)

TNK-BP to Cut Dividend

TNK-BP will cut dividend payments by 9 percent for 2006 as its profits were hit by back tax settlements, company sources said Wednesday.

The firm will pay a dividend of 1.37 rubles (5 cents) per share for the fourth quarter of 2006 in addition to 5.95 rubles for the first nine months of 2006.

This brings the full-year dividend to 7.32 rubles per share, down from 8.06 rubles in 2005. The total payout will amount to around 119 billion rubles ($4.6 billion) -- still one of the most generous in the oil industry. (Reuters)

Bushehr Deal Reached

Russia is ready to complete the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant despite a payments dispute, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said Wednesday, Itar-Tass reported.

Moscow "has the political readiness and resolve to carry out the project for constructing the first Iranian atomic power station at Bushehr," Losyukov told reporters in Tehran, the agency reported. (Reuters)

LionOre Bid Criticized

Norilsk Nickel on Wednesday criticized a higher bid by Xstrata for LionOre Mining International and said it would soon announce its next steps in the race for the Canadian firm.

Analysts said Norilsk, which produces a fifth of the world's nickel, was likely to increase its offer a second time as there are limited opportunities for the company to grow in Russia and a greater presence abroad would soften political risk. (Reuters)

Mosenergo Board Chosen

Gazprom has won the majority of board seats at power utility Mosenergo ahead of the planned purchase of a controlling stake in it, the utility said Wednesday.

Mosenergo said that Gazprom's representatives would take seven out of 13 board seats, with Unified Energy Systems taking the rest. (Reuters)

Sistema Profits Miss Forecast

Services conglomerate Sistema missed forecasts with a 7 percent fall in net profit to $93.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2006.

Sistema, whose key asset is top mobile phone company Mobile TeleSystems, or MTS, said revenue rose by 56.4 percent to $3.4 billion, versus $2.18 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005 and above the forecast of $3.21 billion. (Reuters)

EBRD Buys RESO Stake

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will buy 10 percent of insurer RESO Garantia for $150 million to help it prepare an initial public offering, the bank said Wednesday.

"The transaction represents the EBRD's largest equity deal in Russia and is the largest investment in the insurance sector in the history of the bank," the EBRD said. (Reuters)

Agency Kidnapping Charge

The Federal Service for the Inspection of Natural Resources Use on Wednesday accused a bunkering and tanker company in the country's Far East of kidnapping an inspector who had boarded one of its ships.

The Nord, belonging to Sakhtransbunker, sailed May 14 from the port of Korsakov on Sakhalin Island carrying Vladimir Borisov, without warning him or letting him report on his whereabouts for more than 24 hours, the Natural Resources Ministry said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Mobile Charges Questioned

IT and Telecommunications Minister Leonid Reiman said Wednesday that calls to cell phones from land-line telephones on tariffs plans with unlimited calls should be free of charge, Prime-Tass news agency reported.

Subscribers to the tariff currently pay 1.5 rubles (6 cents) per minute for calls to mobile phones.

Reiman also said fixed-line operators should not switch to charging calls per second as this change would require equipment upgrades, which could result in tariff hikes, the agency reported. (MT)