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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

WTO Deal With Guatemala



Russia signed a World Trade Organization entry agreement with Guatemala and completed negotiations with Vietnam on Tuesday, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said.

An agreement with Vietnam will be signed in two to three weeks. Russia still needs to complete talks with Cambodia and Georgia. (Bloomberg)




Greece Backs South Stream



ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Greece said it would take part in the construction of a natural gas pipeline that will run under the Black Sea, linking Russia with customers in Europe.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis made the announcement about the South Stream pipeline Monday after meeting President Vladimir Putin at an economic forum comprising countries in the Black Sea region.

"This is a very important project, which will help bolster energy security but also diversify supplies of natural gas to the European Union," Karamanlis said at the forum in Istanbul. "Greece, after examining this subject in collaboration with Russia, Bulgaria and Italy, is ready to proceed with this major project." (AP)




Nabucco Pipeline Safe



Gazprom and Eni's plan to build a gas pipeline across Central Europe does not threaten the Nabucco pipeline project that the European Union is backing to diversify the region's supply, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said on Tuesday.

Piebalgs, speaking to reporters at an energy conference in Istanbul, said Europe wants to increase its supply from Russia while also getting gas from other regions.

"South Stream doesn't bring new sources of supply," Piebalgs said. "Nabucco is our beacon project." (Bloomberg)




Czech Poultry Banned



Russia has banned poultry imports from the Czech Republic after an outbreak of bird flu was registered in the country.

The ban applies to meat, eggs for hatching and live birds, Alexei Alexeyenko, a spokesman for the Agriculture Ministry's oversight agency, said Tuesday. The measure does not affect meat that has been subjected to thermal treatment, he said.

The ban was introduced Monday after the virus was confirmed at a Czech farm and will remain in place until the outbreak is contained. Russia will lift the ban after receiving confirmation that the country has been free of the virus for three months, Alexeyenko said. (Bloomberg)




Kudrin Puts Growth at 7%



The economy may expand as much as 7 percent this year, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Tuesday, spokesman Pavel Kuznetsov said.

Kudrin said earlier this year that the economy would grow at least 6.5 percent, compared with 6.7 percent in 2006. (Bloomberg)




Volvo Sales to Double



Volvo, Ford's Swedish luxury unit, expects its sales in Russia to more than double this year, prompting the carmaker to add showrooms in the country by the end of the decade.

"We will sell more than 20,000 cars" in Russia in 2007, Volvo CEO Fredrik Arp said Tuesday at an industry conference in Prague, without giving year-earlier figures.

Volvo aims to have 60 dealerships operating in Russia in 2010 compared with 24 outlets currently. (Bloomberg)




OGK-4 Reveals Coal Plans



OGK-4 plans to build as many as five 800 megawatt coal-fired units to meet expected demand in Siberia.

The generators will be powered by coal instead of natural gas because it is cheaper, director general Andrei Kitashev said Monday in London.

He did not give a timescale or financial details for the investments. (Bloomberg)




SUEK's Indonesia Trading



SUEK AG, the wholly owned export subsidiary of Russia's largest coal producer Siberian Coal and Energy Company, or SUEK, will expand the trading of Indonesian coal it began earlier this year and open new offices in Taiwan and Poland, SUEK AG managing director Yury Filippov said.

SUEK has been advertising in the coal trade press for international coal traders, he said. (Reuters)




KrasAir Plans Ruble Bond



Boris Abramovich's KrasAir plans to issue ruble denominated credit linked notes worth up to 3 billion rubles ($115.8 million), the company said Tuesday.

The airline said it would use the proceeds from the issue to refinance part of its credit portfolio.

The airline said the notes would most likely have a three-year maturity, but did not say when it planned to place the notes. It has mandated Gazprombank and investment group Russkiye Fondy to organize the issue. (Reuters)