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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

MMK's Q4 Output Cut

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, Russia's third-largest steelmaker, had the biggest output cut in the fourth quarter among the country's top six steel companies.

Production of the metal dropped by 50 percent from the prior three months to 1.65 million tons, the company said Friday. Total 2008 output was 12 million tons, 9.8 percent less than in the previous year.

Severstal cut output by 48 percent on the same basis, closest rival Evraz Group made a 34 percent reduction and Novolipetsk Steel and Mechel lowered production by 40 percent and about 24 percent, respectively, based on figures from the companies. (Bloomberg)

Uralkali's First Payment

Potash producer Uralkali said Friday that it agreed to make an initial 2.5 billion ruble ($72.5 million) payment for damages stemming from a 2006 mine flood after talks with government officials.

The payment into the Perm regional budget will be made "as soon as possible," Alan Basiyev, a spokesman for the company, said in an e-mailed response to questions. (Bloomberg)

Vladivostok Airport Talks

Sheremetyevo Airport said Friday that it was in talks with Siemens, Hochtief and Japan's Sumitomo over building a $100 million terminal in the Far East port of Vladivostok.

The complex will include 50,000 square meters of facilities to handle international and domestic traffic as well as hotels, parking and office space, Sheremetyevo said in a statement. The project is part of Russia's $6 billion program to prepare for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok in 2012. (Bloomberg)

220 Trains in Bottleneck

Russian Railways said Friday that 220 trains were waiting to be unloaded at the country's ports because of bottlenecks caused by a lack of ships and an accumulation of private rail cars near sea terminals.

A meeting took place Thursday with representatives of SUEK, Mechel and other companies to discuss a situation that demands an "urgent response from all sides," Russian Railways said in a statement.

The company said Tuesday that 100 trains carrying as much as 360,000 tons of coal were waiting to be unloaded at ports in the Far East. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft Gets $724M

Gazprom Neft said Friday that it signed an agreement to borrow $724 million from Sberbank to help finance operations.

The loan from Sberbank has a term of 18 months, it said. (Bloomberg)

$25Bln Profit Against Ruble

Russian banks and companies earned as much as $25 billion using state bailout funds to bet against the ruble during its decline, Maxim Raskosnov, a fixed-income analyst with Renaissance Capital, said Friday.

The government in effect gave banks an indirect way to recapitalize as the devaluation lessened the impact of weakening asset quality, Raskosnov told reporters. (Bloomberg)

Producer Prices Drop

Russian producer prices, an early indicator of inflation, dropped in January as industrial production flagged and oil prices fell, the State Statistics Service said Friday.

The cost of goods leaving factories and mines declined an annual 9.2 percent last month after dropping 7 percent in December, the service said. Prices fell 2.7 percent in the month, compared with a drop of 7.6 percent in December. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller met with U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle on Friday to burnish its image among investors and consumers. (Bloomberg)

The Nord Stream consortium has completed an environmental impact report and said Friday that it was on track to begin deliveries in 2011. (Reuters)

Michael Lange, chairman for Russia at Jones Lang LaSalle, will leave the company "toward" the end of the first quarter after 15 years "to develop his own business interests and pursue other aspirations," the company said in a statement e-mailed Sunday and dated Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

VTB Group said Friday that it planned to hire more commodities staff in Moscow, London and Singapore this year as customers' need to protect against falling raw-materials prices raises the potential for profits. (Bloomberg)

Vneshekonombank may gain all of the shares in Svyazinvest, Kommersant reported Friday. (Bloomberg)