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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Foreign Securities Allowed?

The State Duma on Wednesday passed in a second reading a bill that would allow foreign securities to be placed on the Russian market.

Vladislav Reznik, chair of the Duma's Financial Markets Committee, said it would allow Russia to fight for a greater share of the global capital market, furthering the country's goal of making Moscow an international financial center, Prime-Tass reported. A version of the bill has been in the works since December 2007, Interfax reported.

The bill gives clearance for foreign securities circulated in Russia that meet international classification and qualification codes. (MT)

Baturina to Join Board

Yelena Baturina, owner of one of the country's biggest property developers, Inteko, will join the advisory board of the Regional Development Ministry, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The primary task of the ministry is preparing recommendations on political and regulatory decisions in regards to economic development.

The board organizes cooperation between state organs, local governments, housing organizations and builders to realize state development goals. (MT)

Allocations to Power Firms

Russia plans to allocate about 550 billion rubles ($16.3 billion) to companies in the power industry this year, about 10 percent less than previously budgeted, Interfax said, citing an unidentified state official.

The cuts in spending come as companies target 15 percent reductions in costs, the news agency said. The funding goes to companies including RusHydro, the Federal Grid Company, Inter RAO, Rosatom, OGK-1 and RAO Energy System of East, Interfax said.

State funds for power companies over three years are now expected at 1.8 trillion rubles, 300 billion rubles less than earlier planned, the agency said. The government has revised its forecast for electricity demand this year and now predicts a 4.5 percent decline rather than an increase of 2 percent or 3 percent. (Bloomberg)

Mobile Phone Sales Halve

Russian mobile phone sales halved in the first quarter to the lowest total in five years, Kommersant reported.

Sales fell to $819 million from $1.76 billion in the same period last year, the newspaper said, citing independent analysts including Vladimir Bogdanov, the former marketing director of Yevroset, the country's largest handset seller.

The number of units sold slid 30 percent to 5.48 million units, the lowest level since 2004, Kommersant said. (Bloomberg)

Dvorkovich on Efficiency

The "overwhelming part" of Russia's economy is so inefficient that "it doesn't stand a chance of surviving in the next 10 years," presidential adviser Arkady Dvorkovich said Wednesday.

Dvorkovich reiterated the government's position that state support should be directed toward "new, efficient niches" of the economy rather than to inefficient sectors. (Bloomberg)

Copper Duty Suspended

Russia's suspension of an import duty on copper scrap will start in a month, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Wednesday. The suspension will last for nine months. (Bloomberg)