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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Power Coal Switch



The government is considering switching 16 gas-fired power stations to coal, Aman Tuleyev, the governor of the coal-rich Kemerovo region, told President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

According to a transcript of the meeting posted on the Kremlin web site, Tuleyev said a cheap way of producing more power from coal was to convert existing gas power stations, a plan already agreed with Gazprom.

"We think we won't be at $1,000, which is considered the price of a coal-generated kilowatt hour, but somewhere around $700 to $800," Tuleyev said.

He did not name the gas power stations in question or say how much capacity might be involved. (Reuters)




Job for Putin's Cousin



Igor Putin, a cousin of President Vladimir Putin, was appointed Thursday to the board of directors of Samara-based AvtoVAZbank, a former AvtoVAZ subsidiary, news reports said Friday.

In 2005, Igor Putin was appointed chairman of the Samara Reservoir Factory, which is part of Volgaburmash, a drill bit manufacturer.

Igor Putin, 53, graduated from the Ryazan Higher Command Automobile School as an automotive maintenance and repair engineer. (MT)




Russia's ADB Bid



KYOTO, Japan -- Russia is actively seeking to join the Asian Development Bank and may use the Group of Eight summit in June to try to persuade Japan to reconsider its opposition, a senior Russian official said Saturday.

Japan, which along with the United States is the biggest shareholder in the ADB, has expressed reservations over Russia's bid to join due to concerns that it would change the balance of power within the agency, said Andrei Kondakov, director of the Foreign Ministry's economic cooperation department.

"We're continuing our discussion but the discussion has already been moved to a political level," Kondakov told a news conference on the sidelines of the ADB's annual meetingin Kyoto, Japan.

He said he would not rule out the possibility of President Vladimir Putin raising the issue when he meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G8 summit in Germany next month. (Reuters)




Kyrgyz Gold Protest



BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- About 300 villagers blocked a road to a Canadian-operated gold mine in northeastern Kyrgyzstan on Friday, protesting the suspension of compensation payments for a 1998 chemical spill, police said.

The protesters were allowing passage of all vehicles except those belonging to Centerra Gold, a joint venture that operates the Kumtor mine, district police spokesman Zhanybek Arykov said.

Kumtor Operating spokesman Sergei Dedyukhin said the payments were suspended, along with other investments in the project, due to the Kyrgyz government's plans to nationalize the mine.

He suggested the protest may have been organized by a lawmaker who had initiated a bill that would allow the nationalization of the country's gold mines.

Centerra is the biggest foreign investor in the country. (AP)




Azeris Eye Indian Oil Deal



Azeri state oil firm Socar is close to signing a contract with a major Indian oil company on direct crude oil supplies to one of the firm's refineries, a Socar official said Friday.

The official said Socar's Azeri Light crude would be shipped to India from Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, where Socar delivers its crude via a pipeline from Baku.

"A contract will be signed in the near future with a big Indian company to supply Socar's crude, transported via a pipeline to Ceyhan from Baku, to the company's refineries," the official said.

He did not disclose the name of the company, saying the talks were confidential. The official also said Socar was holding similar talks with oil companies in North and South America, China, Japan and some Mediterranean countries. (Reuters)




PIK Plans IPO



Real estate developer PIK Group on Friday announced its intention to float in London and Moscow in the latest market listing by a property company riding the capital's real estate boom.

PIK, founded in 1994, employs more than 14,000 people and has a property portfolio estimated by independent appraiser CB Richard Ellis to be worth $8.8 billion, it said in a statement.

The statement gave no details on the offering's size, but sources familiar with the deal said a stake of 10 percent to 15 percent and worth up to $1.5 billion would be offered.

Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Nomura International have been hired as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the global offering. (Reuters)




Ukraine Prices Unchanged



KIEV -- Ukraine's consumer prices were unchanged in April following a month-on-month rise of 0.2 percent in March, the state statistics office reported on Friday.

Food prices rose 0.6 percent in April, while services climbed 0.3 percent. Prices of industrial goods dipped by 1.4 percent. The government had forecast a rise of 1.0 percent in April. Month-on-month inflation in April 2006 stood at 0.4 percent.

Ukraine's prices rose by 1.3 percent in the first four months of 2007, down from 2.3 percent in January to April 2006.

The government has forecast annual inflation for 2007 at 7.5 percent against 11.6 percent last year. Officials blamed last year's rise on increased communal tariffs prompted by a sharp increase in the price of imported natural gas. (Reuters)