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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Rift Puts Opel Bid in Doubt

A rift between Berlin and Washington threatened to torpedo Germany's goal of shielding Opel from the imminent bankruptcy of its parent General Motors, raising the risk of insolvency for the German carmaker.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that he would talk to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later in the day, after German ministers emerged from 12 hours of talks having failed to strike a deal to provide Opel with temporary financing after a GM bankruptcy.

German ministers put the blame for the failed deal talks on GM and the U.S. Treasury. "We don't have the security yet that we need to commit to bridge financing today," Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said.(Reuters)

Italy Backs Russia on Gas

ROME -- Italy on Thursday said it would back Moscow's proposal to have the European Union pay part of the gas bills that Ukraine is struggling to pay.

Ukraine and Russia failed to agree last week on how Kiev would pay for billions of dollars worth of gas needed to be stored for the winter months to ensure smooth transit to Europe.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would put forward the Russian proposal at the next European Council meeting.(Reuters)

CPC to Double Capacity

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium plans to double the capacity of the link to 1.4 million barrels of oil a day by mid-2014, pending an investment decision expected by July 2010, CPC General Director Vladimir Razdukhov said Thursday in Paris. The expansion, previously planned for completion by the end of 2013, has been held up by delays in approving investment.(Bloomberg)

X5 Posts $82.1M Q1 Loss

X5 Retail Group posted a first-quarter loss as the ruble's decline led to a revaluation of dollar-denominated debt, X5 said Thursday in a statement.

The net loss was $82.1 million compared with a profit of $83.3 million a year earlier. Sales fell 8 percent to $1.87 billion, matching the median estimate.

X5 reported a loss of $164 million on foreign exchange.(Bloomberg)

Grain Exports to Double

Russia, the world's second-biggest barley producer, plans to as much as double its grain exports in as little as a decade, Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexander Petrikov said Thursday.

The country is targeting annual exports of 30 million to 40 million metric tons within 10 to 15 years, Petrikov said.(Bloomberg)

Chemezov Eyes Norilsk

Russian Technologies is "interested" in gaining a stake in Norilsk Nickel, CEO Sergei Chemezov said, Vedomosti reported.

About 40 percent of Norilsk Nickel has been pledged as collateral for loans from VEB and VTB Group and Russian Technologies would like to gain the shares in the event of default, Chemezov said. (Bloomberg)

Moscow Cuts Budget 21%

Moscow's city government slashed its 2009 budget for a second time, by 21 percent to 1.15 trillion rubles ($36.9 billion), citing declining tax revenue, Kommersant reported. (Bloomberg)