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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

More Business Headlines

IKEA Store Fined Over Plant Quarantine Violation

An IKEA store in the Volga city Samara has been fined for the sale of plants that had not undergone proper quarantine controls.

"Tests were conducted in connection with IKEA, and the results revealed violations of plant quarantine law," Viktor Trusov, the regional head of Russia's plant and animal inspection agency said Tuesday.

IKEA delivered more than 20,000 such plants to the store from Moscow and St. Petersburg without notifying plant inspectors of the shipments, Trukov said.

IKEA, which fired two senior managers in 2010 for violating its strict anti-bribery policy in Russia, has suffered a string of difficulties in opening stores in the country.

In 2009, the company lost $179 million over what it claimed were corrupt charges by Russian energy providers. (RIA Novosti)

Russian Company's 'Quiet Asphalt' Proposal to Be Developed

A Russian company's proposal to create "quiet" asphalt for highways was one of several selected by the European Union for further development.

The project to develop silent pavement was launched by the Netherlands' Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and aims to reduce the noise pollution produced by tires speeding down highways by 90 percent.

Unikom, a subsidiary of Rusnano supported by the Russian Academy of Sciences, was selected along with three other firms from the Netherlands and Switzerland that will work together on the project, state nanotechnology company Rusnano said Tuesday.

Unikom proposed modifying the structure of roads by injecting a special form of rubber particle into the hot bitumen that when mixed with crushed stones cools into asphalt.

The additive, called Unirem, is produced from recycled tires. (RIA Novosti)

Euroclear to Begin Settling Russian Bonds

International settlement bank Euroclear will begin settling Russian corporate and municipal bonds from Jan. 30, it said Wednesday in a joint statement with Russia's National Settlement Depository.

Euroclear, based in Brussels, is the largest provider of securities settlement services. It began settling Russian domestic government bonds a year ago, easing access to the market for many foreign investors, as part of government-backed reforms aimed at liberalizing Russian financial markets and boosting liquidity.

Foreigners now hold about 25 percent in the $110 billion OFZ domestic government bond market, up from just 4 percent two years ago.

The latest agreement with Euroclear means similar settlement procedures will also be used for the $150 billion corporate ruble bond market and the $15 billion municipal bond market, improving foreign investors' access. (Reuters)

Mechel Gives Details of Easier Borrowing Terms

Heavily indebted miner Mechel disclosed Wednesday details of easier borrowing terms it agreed with banks in late 2013 designed to give it some breathing space to turn itself around.

Mechel, controlled by billionaire Igor Zyuzin, like other Russian steelmakers invested heavily in expansion before the 2008 financial crisis hit demand, forcing it to borrow to support itself.

Banks including Sberbank and VTB granted more lenient conditions for the coal-to-steel group on $6.5 billion of its more than $9 billion in net debts until Dec. 31, 2014.

But some of these requirements will be tightened up slightly at the end of 2014, Mechel said in a report posted to its website.

A new higher debt-to-earnings cap along with other easier debt ratio terms are designed to grant Mechel some extra time to deal with its substantial obligations to lenders. (Reuters)

15% Fall in Gazprom Third Quarter Earnings Predicted

Third-quarter net income at Gazprom may have fallen 15 percent to 259 billion rubles ($7.6 billion) on the back of a weaker ruble and lower domestic gas sales, an analysts' poll showed on Wednesday.

BCS brokerage said that Gazprom raked in 13 billion rubles of a forex gain in July-September last year, down from 78 billion rubles in the previous year's corresponding period, while its domestic sales fell 15 percent, year-on-year.

Gazprom has been unusually late with reporting its financials and analysts have said that they would focus on the ensuing conference call to seek an update on the company's gas talks with China and plans on gas exports to Europe.

Last year, Gazprom's gas sales to the EU and Turkey, where it generates more than a half of its revenues, rose by 16 percent to 161.48 billion cubic meters. (Reuters)

Russia Plans Cruise Missile Tests, Bomber Patrols for 2014

The Russian Air Force is preparing to conduct a series of tests of new cruise missiles, as well as carrying out strategic bomber patrols including stops in other countries, the commander of its long-range fleet said Wednesday.

"In 2014 we are planning practice launches of cruise missiles, including new models," Gen. Lt. Anatoly Zhikharev told reporters, without specifying the missiles to be fired. Russian planes launched 15 cruise missiles last year.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last summer that Russia was planning a 30-fold increase of its cruise missile arsenal by 2020.

The buildup is planned to include the new Raduga Kh-101 cruise missile that can carry a 400 kilogram payload up to 9,600 kilometers. (RIA Novosti)

For the Record

Fitch Affirms Sukhoi Civil Aircraft at 'BB'

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sukhoi Civil Aircraft's Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings at 'BB' with a Stable Outlook. (Reuters)

Aeroflot Receives and Names a Boeing and an Airbus

Aeroflot has taken delivery of its fourth Boeing B737-800 Next Generation and its 91st Airbus A320, naming them in honor of Soviet and Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aytmatov and after Soviet and Russian linguist, critic, writer and academician Dmitry Likhachev, respectively, the company said in a press release Wednesday. (MT)

New Hilton Opens in Krasnoyarsk

Hilton Worldwide added to its network of hotels around Russia with the opening of a 259-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, the company said in a press release Wednesday. (MT)