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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

LUKoil Refinery Upgrades

LUKoil will spend $7 billion on refinery upgrades to improve the quality of the gasoline and diesel produced, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing deputy CEO Vladimir Nekrasov.

LUKoil is investing in catalytic crackers for its Nizhny Novgorod, Perm and Volgograd refineries to produce so-called Euro-4 standard fuels by 2010, Interfax said, citing Nekrasov. (Bloomberg)

Oil-Earnings Forecasts Up

No. 1 oil producer Rosneft may earn 13 percent more this year because of a higher expected price for crude, and other Russian oil and gas companies may also post higher earnings, analysts at UBS said.

Rosneft is expected to earn $5.4 billion this year on sales of $39.3 billion, UBS wrote in a report dated Wednesday. With few refineries for making gasoline, Rosneft is especially sensitive to an upgrade in the estimated average Brent price to $67 from $60 for 2007, UBS said. (Bloomberg)

Surgut Web Site Hacked

Closely held Surgutneftegaz on Wednesday said its web site was brought down by a group of hackers, who also sent fake news releases claiming senior executives had been arrested and company property seized.

"They sent incorrect information to everybody and blocked our web site to prevent us from correcting it," spokeswoman Raisa Khodchenko said by phone from Surgut.

E-mails sent to the media claimed CEO Vladimir Bogdanov and chairman Nikolai Zakharchenko had been arrested on suspicion of tax evasion and that "some of the company's property has been impounded." (Bloomberg)

Moody's Raises Rosneft

Rosneft had its credit rating raised by Moody's Investors Service, which cited the company's recent acquisition of refining assets from bankrupt Yukos.

The ratings service raised Rosneft's issuer rating to Baa1 from Baa2, Moody's said in a statement Wednesday. Baa1 is the third-lowest investment grade. The upgrade follows the company's purchase of refineries belonging to Yukos at liquidation auctions earlier this year. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom's $1Bln Eurobond

Gazprom plans to offer $1 billion in eurobonds this month, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing bankers it did not identify.

ABN Amro Holding NV and Morgan Stanley will manage the sale, which is part of Gazprom's $15 billion medium-term debt program, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Power Machines Floatation

Turbine maker Power Machines plans to float new shares worth $200 million to $250 million on domestic bourses in late July, a market source told Reuters on Wednesday.

Power monopoly Unified Energy System and Germany's Siemens each hold 25 percent plus one share in Power Machines. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil's Baltic Exports

ST. PETERSBURG -- LUKoil plans to export 900,000 tons of oil products a month from its Baltic Sea terminal of Vysotsk in July and August, unchanged from June, a port source said Wednesday.

"Monthly fuel oil shipments will amount to 500,000 tons, of which 400,000 tons will be delivered by rail and 100,000 tons by river," the source said. (Bloomberg)

UMMC Copper Output Up

YEKATERINBURG -- Russia's second largest copper and zinc producer, Urals Mining and Metals Co., said Wednesday it planned to raise 2007 output of refined copper by 2.8 percent to 4.2 percent and to keep zinc output flat on 2006.

Refined copper output is expected to rise by 10,000 to 15,000 tons from 354,258 tons refined in 2006, and zinc output is expected to be 88,000 tons, a company spokesman quoted CEO Andrei Kozitsin as saying. (Bloomberg)

Money Supply Growing

The money supply expanded 19 percent in the first quarter and will probably expand as much as 39 percent by year's end, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said Wednesday.

"The money supply has so far been growing too quickly," Ignatyev told the State Duma. He was responding to comments by Duma deputies calling for a larger supply of money, which they said might lower bank loan interest rates. (Bloomberg)

Capital Inflow to $67Bln

The country's net capital inflow surged to a record $67 billion in the first half as Yukos sold assets and state banks sold shares, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said.

"High capital inflows in large part were spurred by the Yukos sales and the share sales of VTB and Sberbank," Ignatyev said. (Bloomberg)