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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Novatek Revises Forecast

Gas producer Novatek will produce less gas than expected this year due to the warm winter but is sticking to its upbeat output forecast for 2010, its chief financial officer said Tuesday.

Mark Gyetvay said the firm's production would amount roughly to 2006 levels, when the company produced 28.7 billion cubic meters. It had previously expected to extract 30 bcm this year. (Reuters)

Svyazinvest Charter Blocked

The government, which controls fixed-line phone monopoly Svyazinvest, blocked a new company charter that would have expanded the rights of the minority shareholder, Sistema.

The shareholders made no decision on the proposals after the government prepared to vote against it at Tuesday's annual shareholder meeting, Svyazinvest spokesman Oleg Mikhailov said by telephone. The state owns 75 percent of Svyazinvest. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Eyes Utility Buy

Gazprom will offer to buy out its fellow shareholders in Mosenergo, which generates power for Moscow, the gas company said Tuesday.

Gazprom submitted its planned offer to the Federal Service for Financial Markets on Friday, the firm said, without disclosing the price. Gazprom is obliged to make the offer after consolidating control in the utility. (Bloomberg)

Trade Surplus Shrinks

The trade surplus shrank 17 percent in the first seven months of the year as surging imports offset energy exports, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Tuesday.

The surplus narrowed to $72 billion from $86 billion in the same period last year, the ministry said. Imports jumped 37 percent to $115 billion, while exports rose 9.6 percent to $186 billion. (Bloomberg)

German Poultry Banned

Russia imposed a temporary ban on imports of live poultry and poultry meat from Germany, following an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in Bavaria.

The ban took effect Tuesday, the Federal Service for Veterinarian and Vegetation Sanitary Supervision said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Mechel Buys Bratsk Plant

New York-listed metals and mining firm Mechel said Tuesday that it had bought the Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant to develop and improve efficiency at its steel business.

The Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant had revenues of $51 million in 2006 and net profits of $6 million, Mechel said in a statement. It did not disclose the price of the acquisition. (Reuters)

Highland Gold Gets License

Highland Gold Mining, the country's fourth-largest gold miner, has paid 1.9 million rubles ($72,900) to acquire a license for the Iska ore field in the Far East, the company said Tuesday.

The 20-year exploration and development license covers an area of 920 square kilometers in the Khabarovsk region, 80 kilometers south of Highland's only operating mine, Mnogovershinnoye. Iska is also 20 kilometers from the company's Belaya Gora exploration property. Payment would be made within 30 days of the completion of registration, Highland said in a statement. (Reuters)

Trust in State Banks Is High

Sixty-four percent of Russians trust national state banks most of all, according to results of a survey released by

VTsIOM polling center and the National Financial Research Agency on Tuesday.

Confidence in Sberbank and other national state banks is down from last year, when it stood at 72 percent, however. While 9 percent of respondents in the survey said they trusted private Russian banks, only 3 percent said they would be prepared to use the services of a foreign bank. Twenty-four percent of respondents said they were unable to give an answer. (MT)

Sugar Futures Start Sept. 19

The Russian trading system exchange plans to launch the country's first sugar futures contract on Sept. 19, RTS chairman Roman Goryunov said Tuesday.

Russia last year refined a record 3.3 million tons of sugar from its own beet -- more than half of its consumption.

An industry lobby, Russian Sugar Producers' Union, has forecast beet sugar output of 3.4 million tons this year as the country invests more in its sugar industry and sows a larger area to the crop. (Reuters)

Sobinbank Plans ABS

Private bank Sobinbank plans to issue asset-backed securities for $850 million in fall 2008, its first deputy chairman said Tuesday.

Igor Duda said the bank's subsidiary, Russky Ipotechny Bank, planned to securitize a pool of mortgage loans worth around $500 million, while Sobinbank itself would issue at least $350 million of securities backed by car loans. (Reuters)