. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

State Seeks Help on Growth

The country's largest energy producers and miners will advise the government on how to support their efforts to expand overseas as they seek to invest profits from high oil, gas and metals prices, the Natural Resources Ministry said in a statement Monday.

The ministry formed the advisory council with companies such as state-run Gazprom, Rosneft and LUKoil to analyze foreign legislation and mineral reserves abroad and assess countries for potential joint projects, the statement said.

State diamond monopoly Alrosa, state lender VTB and officials from the Foreign Ministry, Economic Development and Trade Ministry and the Federal Atomic Energy Agency are also on the council. Other members include Norilsk Nickel and Viktor Vekselberg's Renova Group. (Bloomberg)

Wingas to Supply Belgium

Wingas, a German natural gas importer owned by BASF and Gazprom, will supply 8 percent of Belgium's natural gas consumption next year as the company expands in Europe, the company said Monday.

Wingas will supply Belgium with 16 billion kilowatt-hours of natural gas next year, up from 12.3 billion kwh this year, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Refinery Plans Maintenance

Moscow Oil Refinery, the only crude processor in the city, will carry out scheduled maintenance in October, spokeswoman Zoya Smirnova said by telephone Monday.

The plant has stockpiled reserves to cover an output cut of about 25 percent next month, Smirnova said. She also said production in January through October would be higher than the same period last year. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom, Eni Chiefs Meet

Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller met Paolo Scaroni, his counterpart from Eni, on Monday to discuss a joint pipeline project linking Russia to southern Europe.

The two men talked about the companies' "strategic partnership" at Gazprom's headquarters, the gas export monopoly said in a statement.

Eni and Gazprom on June 23 announced plans to build the South Stream pipeline.

The 900-kilometer link is competing with the European Union-backed Nabucco pipeline from Turkey, which is planned to carry the same volume and take a similar route. (Bloomberg)

Gazprombank to Sell Bonds

Gazprombank, the banking arm of gas producer Gazprom, plans to sell at least $1 billion of bonds this year, Interfax reported Monday, citing a person it did not identify.

Gazprombank hired Barclays Capital and Citigroup to arrange the sale, Interfax said. The bonds will be sold in two parts of at least $500 million each and will be presented to investors after mid-October, the service said. (Bloomberg)

Banks Sell Gazmetall Debt

LONDON -- ABN Amro Holding and BNP Paribas are selling $1 billion of loans for Gazmetall, the iron ore producer partly owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, as the company refinances existing debt.

The five-year loans are Gazmetall's first transaction in the international debt market, and commitments from lenders are due in three weeks, a person familiar with the situation said. (Bloomberg)

KazMunaiGaz Profit Rises

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- KazMunaiGaz Exploration & Production, a unit of Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company, said Monday that first-half profit rose 16 percent on increased oil output.

Net income climbed to 58.1 billion tenge ($472 million) from 50.2 billion tenge a year earlier, the company said.

KazMunaiGaz produced 4.94 million tons of crude oil in the period, an increase of 288,000 tons from a year earlier, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Dragon Oil Profits Up 42%

LONDON -- Dragon Oil, an oil and gas producer operating in Turkmenistan, said Monday that profit rose 42 percent in the first half as it pumped more crude.

Net income was $114.9 million, compared with $80.8 million a year earlier, Dragon said. (Bloomberg)

Uralkaly Profits Up 90%

YEKATERINBURG -- Uralkaly, the world's fifth-largest potash producer, said Monday that first-half 2007 net profit rose 90 percent to 3.8 billion rubles ($149.8 million) on booming demand for its fertilizers.

Uralkaly, which bankers say may revisit a plan to list shares in London this year after shelving an initial public offering in October, said first-half revenues rose to 13.3 billion rubles ($524.4 million) from 8.9 billion a year ago. (Reuters)

Imperial Energy Venture

Imperial Energy, a London-based oil and natural gas explorer operating in Russia, said Monday that it had agreed to form a natural gas-supply venture with the local government in the Tomsk region after finding "significant" deposits there.

The Tomsk administration will own 26 percent of the venture, to be called Imperial Energy Tomsk Gaz, and a unit of Imperial will hold the rest, the British company said. (Bloomberg)

Ohio Offers Land for MMK

Ohio offered Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works a plot of land for the company's planned $1 billion plant, Interfax said Monday.

Magnitogorsk's billionaire chairman Viktor Rashnikov was set to tour the Scioto County site with Ohio state officials Monday, Interfax said, without citing anyone. (Bloomberg)

Fire Halts Copper Mine

A fire halted work at a copper mine owned by Urals Mining and Metallurgical Company, Interfax reported Monday, citing local Emergency Situations Ministry officials.

The blaze at Buribayevsky mine in the republic of Bashkortostan has been contained, the service said, without providing more information immediately. (Bloomberg)

Synergy May Raise $86M

Synergy, a vodka maker, plans to raise $86 million in an initial public offering in November, Interfax reported Monday, citing an unidentified person in the financial industry.

The company will sell 2.72 million new shares, representing 19 percent of the share capital, the news service said. (Bloomberg)

Novatek Methanol Output

Novatek, the country's second-biggest natural gas producer, began producing methanol at its Yurkharovskoye gas condensate field to reduce costs associated with shipping the chemical to the site, the company said in a statement Monday.

Methanol is used to prevent condensation in gas-gathering systems in cold areas like Yurkharovskoye, located in the Arctic Circle. The plant will produce 12,500 tons of methanol per year, the company said. (Bloomberg)