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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Naryshkin's Turkmen Deal

Turkmenistan said it would increase its annual natural gas exports to Russia by more than 50 percent to 80 billion cubic meters per year.

The announcement follows an agreement reached in May by the two countries and Kazakhstan to modernize Moscow-backed pipeline routes along the shores of the Caspian Sea to carry Turkmen gas into Europe.

The statement was released as Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Naryshkin met in Ashgabat on Tuesday with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

About 60 businessmen accompanied Naryshkin to Turkmenistan, Itar-Tass reported, without giving further details. (AP)

New Yukos Dutch Case

A Dutch court will open a new lawsuit Thursday brought by Yukos' foreign-based managers calling for the dismissal of the company's court-appointed bankruptcy receiver.

Lawyers for Yukos Finans, a Dutch-based company that guards the bankrupt's firms foreign assets, will argue that receiver Eduard Rebgun and his board appointees should not be recognized by the Dutch court.

The ruling could affect another case Yukos' London-based managers have in the Dutch courts, where they are attempting to hold on to the revenue from the sale of foreign assets such as the Mazeiku refinery in Lithuania. (MT)

Dispute Shuts Cement Plant

Builders in the Moscow region may experience a shortage of cement after Evrocement Group halted output at its Mikhailovcement plant in a wage dispute, Kommersant reported.

The plant accounts for 5 percent of the group's production and so supplies to the region around the capital could be disrupted, the newspaper said, citing Tatyana Palchikova, deputy head of developer Trest 1991.

The Ryazan region plant was closed three weeks ago after the employees demanded that their wages be tripled from 6,000 rubles ($235) a month, Kommersant said, citing Vitaly Runov, the chairman of a workers' committee. Evrocement has already lost about $9.24 million from shutting the plant. (Bloomberg)

More Kopeika Supermarkets

Kopeika, Russia's fifth-largest supermarket chain by sales, added 21 stores last month to increase the total to 404.

Outlets opened in cities in central Russia including Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Voronezh, the discount food store chain said Wednesday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Grain Prices Jump 10%

Wheat prices rose by 10 percent on the week, prompting the country's bakers to demand that the government limit prices and exports, Vremya Novostei reported Wednesday.

Bread prices could rise by 40 percent by the end of 2007, the newspaper said, citing Viktor Olkhovoi, deputy head of the Moscow city hall's provisions department. (Bloomberg)

$40Bln Budget Surplus

The federal government's budget surplus probably reached 1.07 trillion rubles ($40 billion) in the first half of the year, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

Revenue totaled 3.24 trillion rubles, or 97.8 percent of the plan for the first half of the year, the Finance Ministry said, citing preliminary calculations. The government spent 82 percent of the planned amount for January through June, it said. (Bloomberg)

Trade Surplus Expands

The country's trade surplus expanded 13 percent in May from the previous month, as imports continued to grow faster than exports, the Central Bank said Wednesday.

The surplus rose to $12.7 billion, compared with $11.2 billion in April, the Central Bank said on its web site. Imports totaled $17.6 billion in May, while exports reached $30.3 billion, the statement said. (Bloomberg)

Coal Railway Cars Derailed

Fifteen railway cars carrying coal derailed on the trans-Siberian railway in the Amur region, Interfax said, citing Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov.

No one was killed or injured in the incident that happened at 1:23 p.m. Moscow time, the report said. The tracks and power-supply lines were damaged and a 45-train back-up was created when traffic on the line was suspended, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Baby-Food Firm Booming

Nutritek Group, the country's largest baby-food company, said annual profit more than tripled after higher incomes boosted sales and new plants fueled production.

Net income surged to $22 million in the year through March from $6.2 million in the prior period, the company said in a statement. Revenue gained 65 percent to $379 million and more than doubled to $149 million at the baby-food unit. (Bloomberg)

VTB Europe to Invest

VTB Group will develop its VTB Bank Europe unit as an international investment bank, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

VTB will close its Russia investment-banking division in order to focus on building up VTB Bank Europe, Vedomosti reported, citing a memo signed by CEO Andrei Kostin. The division's functions will be transferred to other parts of the bank. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft-Aeroflot Fuel Deal

Rosneft and Aeroflot plan to set up jet-fuel stations at airports nationwide as the carrier tries to rein in its costs.

Rosneft and Aeroflot signed an accord under which Rosneft will supply oil products and petrochemicals and Aeroflot will provide Rosneft employees seats on its regular flights, the companies said in a statement Wednesday.

"We would like to get fuel at lower prices," Aeroflot spokeswoman Irina Dannenberg said. She said the companies have formed working groups to study the projects. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Denies Bond Plans

United Company RusA denied on Wednesday a report that it would issue $750 million in Eurobonds before its planned stock market float.

"We categorically deny this information," RUSAL spokeswoman Vera Kurochkina said after news agency Interfax cited a banking source as saying that the debut, five-year bond issue would be launched in the third quarter. (Reuters)

More Credit Suisse Exposure

Credit Suisse said it increased its "overweight" on Russia to 15 percent from 6 percent and moved to a 10 percent stance on South Africa from "market weight."

The brokerage said it increased Russia exposure as the country looked technically oversold and year-to-date spot oil is close to passing the 2006 average, resulting in positive earnings revisions for Russia. (Reuters)