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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Zubkov in the Netherlands

First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov arrived in the Netherlands on Tuesday for two days of talks and was scheduled to meet with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Royal Dutch Shell CEO Jeroen Van de Veer on Wednesday.

Van der Veer met with Gazprom chief Alexei Miller in Moscow last week. Gazprom said after the meeting that Shell had "very good chances" of winning a tender to become their partner at Sakhlin-3. Shell has a stake in the nearby Gazprom-controlled Sakhalin-2 project.(MT)

Single Regulator Considered

Arkady Dvorkovich, the top presidential economic aide, said Tuesday that it was "worth thinking about" the creation of a unified financial regulator to cover everything except the banking sector, Interfax reported.

Speaking at a Finance Ministry meeting, Dvorkovich said the Central Bank should maintain its oversight role for banks, the news agency said.(MT)

Globaltrans Profit Up 5%

Globaltrans, Russia's top privately owned freight rail operator, said Tuesday that net profit rose 5 percent in 2008 to $97.4 million but capital expenditure will remain flat in 2009 because of the global crisis.

Freight rail turnover was up about 1 percent year on year. Globaltrans said its freight turnover shrank 15.1 percent in January and 5.9 percent in February -- less steeply than for the Russian sector as a whole, where cargo declined 27 percent in the first quarter.(Reuters)

Black Earth Eyes First Profit

Black Earth Farming, an owner and developer of agricultural land in Russia, may post its first net profit in 2010 as its farms mature.

The company may achieve profit before interest, depreciation and amortization in 2009, CEO Sture Gustavsson said. Black Earth, which was founded in 2005, lost $25 million in 2008 on sales of $24.4 million, according to a statement on the company's web site.

Black Earth has tripled its farmland portfolio and is now switching its focus to agricultural production.(Bloomberg)

More Pork Plants Banned

Russia is halting imports from three U.S. pork facilities, including a John Morrell plant owned by Smithfield Foods, because of problems with export certificates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.

The ban on meat from the John Morrell plant in South Dakota is effective April 20, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said. Shipments also were halted from a packaging plant and a warehouse owned by Cloverleaf Cold Storage in Iowa.(Bloomberg)

For the Record

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works said Tuesday that it has recommended that shareholders receive no final dividend payment for 2008.(Reuters)

Russian Railways, operator of the world's longest track network, sold 15 billion rubles ($450 million) of six-year bonds, one of the deal's managers said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Inter RAO plans to sell shares to Vneshekonombank to finance construction of additional capacity, Ivan Savelyev, head of capital markets, said Tuesday, Interfax reported.(Bloomberg)