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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

S&P Downgrades Ukraine

Standard & Poor's slashed its ratings for Ukraine on Wednesday, citing political disunity that risks a $16.4 billion International Monetary Fund loan just as the country falls deep into recession.

The ratings agency downgraded Ukraine's long- and short-term foreign currency credit ratings to CCC+/C from B/B and its local currency ratings to B-/C from B+/B.(Reuters)

Primorsk Oil Exports Go Up

Russia plans to export 1.8 percent more crude from the port of Primorsk in March, loading schedules show.

Russia plans to ship about 1.47 million barrels a day of Urals crude oil from the port, according to the preliminary loading schedule of Transneft. An average of 1.44 million barrels a day are scheduled to load this month.

Exports from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk are set to decline 11 percent, while loadings from the port of Tuapse will decline 21 percent, according to the schedule. (Bloomberg)

Aeroflot Revenues Advance

Aeroflot said revenue in January advanced 12 percent versus the same month last year to 6.99 billion rubles ($195 million), it said in a statement Wednesday.

Expenses increased 4.6 percent in the period to 677 billion rubles, the airline said. (Bloomberg)

$42Bln Subsidies Approved

The government approved 1.5 billion rubles ($42 billion) of subsidies for loans taken out by companies including AvtoVAZ, Irkut Corp. and Sukhoi Aviation Holding, the Industry and Trade Ministry said Wednesday.

The subsidies for 24 companies apply to loans taken to fund production for export, the ministry said. The government will allocate 6 billion rubles for the program this year. (Bloomberg)

Putin to Bail Out Miners

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the government would help bail out gold miners in the northeastern Yakutia region.

Banks are unable to provide gold producers with loans because of the tightening credit market, regional head Vyacheslav Shtyrov said at a meeting Wednesday. Putin promised to resolve the problem, the broadcaster reported.(Bloomberg)

MMK Cuts Steel by 53%

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works reduced steel output by 53 percent in January as Russian production of the metal contracted 40 percent, the State Statistics Service said, Interfax reported.

MMK lowered output to 572,814 tons of steel in January, compared with 1.23 million tons in the same period a year earlier, the report said.

Severstal cut steel production by 40 percent to 651,961 tons from 1.08 million tons, while Evraz Group reduced output at its three mills in Russia by 28 to 40 percent, the service said. Novolipetsk Steel cut January output by 47 percent to 441,323 tons. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Reopens Stavrolen

LUKoil resumed production of polypropylene at its Stavrolen plant in the south of the country, it said Wednesday.

The plant's polypropylene unit was closed last April after a fire, LUKoil said. (Bloomberg)

Dixy Sales Jump 25%

Dixy Group, Russia's third-largest listed food retailer, said sales jumped 25 percent to 4.35 billion rubles ($121 million) in January versus the same month last year, the firm said Wednesday.

Dixy increased its store count by 27 percent in January from a year earlier to 494 outlets, it said. (Bloomberg)

RZD Suspends Shipments

Russian Railways suspended grain shipments to Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port since Feb. 20 because of a backlog of about 1,000 railcars with 50,000 tons of grain waiting to be unloaded.

The rail monopoly delayed deliveries through Wednesday, said a spokeswoman for the Southern Caucasus branch, who declined to be identified because of company rules.(Bloomberg)

For the Record

Delinquent loans account for about 10 percent of all loans issued by Russian banks, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Moscow city plans to sell 20 billion rubles ($560 million) of bonds this year to refinance existing debt instead of borrowing from banks, city debt chief Sergei Pakhomov said, Interfax reported Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Russia's oil output may fall 1.1 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier to 120 million tons, Interfax reported, citing a source close to the Energy Ministry. (Bloomberg)