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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

India Offered Rosneft Stake

NEW DELHI -- Russia has offered India a 1 percent equity stake worth $1 billion in state-controlled oil firm Rosneft, the Financial Express said in an unsourced report.

India may ask a consortium led by ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp., to pick up the stake, the newspaper said Tuesday without quoting a source.

An immediate comment was not available from spokesmen at the Indian oil ministry and ONGC.

ONGC Videsh has a 20 percent stake in the Sakhalin-1 project. (Reuters)

Higher VTB Dividend

The supervisory board of VTB has recommended a dividend equal to 20 percent of 2006 net profit after a 13 percent payout for 2005, the bank said in a statement.

State-owned VTB, which plans to float 22.5 percent of its shares in Moscow and London this week, said Tuesday that the board had proposed paying 3.44 billion rubles ($133.7 million) in 2006 dividends, or 0.00066 rubles per share.

The proposed dividend, payable on VTB ordinary shares with a nominal value of 0.01 rubles, will be submitted to shareholders for a vote at the bank's annual shareholders meeting on June 20. (Reuters)

Xstrata Mulls Counterbid

ZURICH -- Swiss-British mining group Xstrata may make a counterbid for LionOre Mining International following a rival offer from Norilsk Nickel, Xstrata's chief executive said in an interview published Wednesday.

Mick Davis told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft that Xstrata was analyzing the situation before making a decision.

LionOre said Monday that the $4.8 billion takeover offer from Norilsk Nickel was superior to Xstrata's competing bid. (Reuters)

Aeroflot Dividend Hike

Aeroflot's board has recommended hiking dividends by 57 percent to 1.29 rubles (5 cents) per share for 2006, the airline said.

The airline paid a dividend of 0.82 rubles per share for 2005.

Aeroflot said in a statement Tuesday that the dividend payout for 2006 would total 1.43 billion rubles ($55.54 million), or 17.9 percent of its net profit. Shareholders will vote on the payout at an annual meeting June 23.

Aeroflot reported a 32.3 percent rise in net profit in 2006 to Russian accounting standards to 7.98 billion rubles ($310.1 million). (Reuters)

BBH Earnings Double

LONDON -- Baltic Beverages Holding posted a doubling of first-quarter earnings Wednesday and raised its growth forecast for Russia after an exceptionally mild winter.

BBH, whose key asset is an 80 percent plus shareholding Baltika, said it now expected the Russian beer market to grow at 5 percent to 8 percent this year ahead of its medium-term target of 3 percent to 5 percent.

BBH reported first-quarter earnings before interest and tax of 88 million euros ($119.4 million), up 117.5 percent, on sales 44 percent ahead at 492 million euros. (Reuters)

Itera Profit Up 78.5%

Itera, the country's largest independent gas producer, said its net profit calculated to Russian accounting standards increased 78.5 percent year on year in the first quarter to 951.21 million rubles ($36.9 million), RIA-Novosti reported.

"The net profit growth is attributable to higher selling prices of natural gas and, correspondingly, to increased earnings from sales, which rose from 7.09 billion rubles [$275 million] in the first quarter of 2006 to 8.16 billion rubles in the first quarter of 2007, while the prime cost of products grew only 4 percent," Itera said in a statement on Tuesday. (MT)

Emissions Increase 2.2%

BONN, Germany -- U.S. and Russian greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2005, more than canceling out a dip in the European Union's emissions despite growing calls to limit global warming, official data show.

Russia's report shows that emissions, which plunged with the collapse of Soviet-era smokestack industries in the 1990s, rose by 2.2 percent in 2005 to 2.13 billion tons. But they were still 28.7 percent below 1990 levels.

Combined emissions by the United States, Russia and the EU rose by 0.4 percent to 14.55 billion tons in 2005 from 2004, according to data compiled from the UN's climate change body. (Reuters)

Pushkino Shopping Mall

VIENNA -- Austrian property developer Meinl European Land has signed a deal to build a shopping mall for 300 million euros ($407 million) in the Moscow region, the company said Wednesday.

The mall in Pushkino, north of Moscow, will have rentable space of 250,000 square meters for shopping and entertainment facilities when it opens in 2009, and Meinl expects a yield of 15 percent. (Reuters)