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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

RusAl to Cut Production

United Company RusAl will slash output and investment plans, CEO Alexander Bulygin said Wednesday, Itar-Tass reported. "Due to the difficult situation, our future investment programs at the company's plants are frozen, and production cuts are planned," Bulygin said, adding that no mass job cuts were planned.

RusAl said Wednesday that the company had planned to close four potlines at two of its aluminum smelters "for environmental modernization" by 2015, but decided to do it now because of the tough situation on the market. (MT)

VTB Lends $143M to MMK

VTB, the country's second-largest bank, lent 4 billion rubles ($142.8 million) to Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, or MMK, for a year, the bank said on its web site Wednesday.

The money will be used to replenish working capital, including payments to the suppliers of MMK, VTB said.

MMK had said it was negotiating bank loans for financing the construction of a hot-rolled plate mill it planned to launch next year. (MT)

Grain Harvest Beats Record

This year's grain harvest will exceed 103 million tons, the biggest yield in the last 15 years, an Agriculture Ministry official said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

Meat production is to reach 9.2 million tons this year, 6.7 percent up from 2007. Poultry production is to increase by 16.5 percent, and pork output is to grow by 8 percent. (MT)

Better Roads a Pricey Affair

Bringing the country's roads up to European quality will require up to 50 trillion rubles ($1.8 trillion), Oleg Belozerov, head of the Federal Road Agency, said Wednesday.

"In order to build the necessary road network, we need at minimum 1.5 million kilometers of roads, by some estimate, and up to 50 trillion rubles for the entire road network, including municipal and regional roads," he said Wednesday at the State Duma's "parliament hour," RIA-Novosti reported. (MT)

FAS to Cut Petition Waits

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service will cut the official period for considering petitions to ease the pressure on companies during the financial crisis, the service said on its web site Wednesday.

The period for considering applications will be reduced to 30 days from the current 90 days.

FAS has previously recommended that its regional offices "take the financial situation into consideration" when they determine the size of fines for the competition law violators. (MT)

Anti-Crisis Body Formed

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin named his first deputy, Igor Shuvalov, to head a commission that will lead the government's push to stabilize the economy and shore up the financial industry.

The panel will coordinate the government's efforts to stabilize commodities markets, including support for domestic producers, and its response to the economic crisis, including unemployment and other social problems, Putin said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

SEC Charges Russian Firm

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Russian firm CentreInvest Securities with soliciting U.S. institutional investors without possessing the necessary broker-dealer registration, the commission said on its web site, Interfax reported. (MT)