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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Duma Passes Smoking Bill



The State Duma on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill regulating the tobacco industry containing the provisions that were challenged by health and consumer rights advocates as contradicting Russia's international commitments.

The bill allows producers to label cigarettes as "light," "super light" or "low tar," which the activists and a World Health Organization representative said breeches a WHO tobacco-control convention Russia signed in April.

The bill needs to be approved by the Federation Council and then signed by President Dmitry Medvedev to become law. (MT)




Ministry Cuts Agencies' Staff



The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said Wednesday that it is downsizing its two watchdogs, the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Atomic Inspection, or Rostekhnadzor, and the Federal Inspection Service for Natural Resources Use, or Rosprirodnadzor, by about 15 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

About 1,400 staff will be laid off from various regional administrative positions in Rostekhnadzor, while the central apparatus will be increased from 300 to 400 people. (MT)




Gazprom Agrees on Pipeline



Gazprom agreed to export about a quarter of its gas to Western Europe through a pipeline operated by Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel.

Slovensky, a Slovak utility in which E.On Ruhrgas and GDF Suez hold a combined 49 percent interest and a board majority, will transport about 1 trillion cubic meters of the commodity during the next 20 years starting in 2009, Gazprom Export chairman Alexander Medvedev said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Antoni Brufau, chairman of Spanish oil and gas company Repsol, said he would resign if the company does not remain Spanish, independent and private. (Reuters)

Russian banks saw a small net inflow of personal deposits last month, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said, RIA-Novosti reported. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank expects its assets to grow by at least 15 percent next year, down from an earlier forecast of 30 percent, CEO German Gref said Wednesday, citing its high levels of nonperforming and overdue loans. (Bloomberg)

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works may get a loan to help build a new plate mill at its main site, said Vladimir Cherkashin, head of the Urals division of OAO Sberbank, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Inflation will probably reach 13.5 percent this year, compared with an official forecast of 11.8 percent, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Russia extended a probe into 2006 flooding at a mine owned by Uralkali, the potash producer controlled by billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, by two weeks. (Bloomberg)

Vneshekonombank requested 950 billion rubles ($34 billion) in government funds, Vedomosti reported, citing two unidentified officials with knowledge of the matter. (Bloomberg)

Russia extended a probe into 2006 flooding at a mine owned by Uralkali, the potash producer controlled by billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, by two weeks. (Bloomberg)