Published: March 2, 2010 (Issue # 1552)
Laundry Ring Busted
MOSCOW (Bloomberg) — Russian investigators have busted a crime ring that laundered more than $1.6 billion since 2007 for companies and individuals in and around Moscow, the Interior Ministry’s economic crimes department said.
The group charged a fee of between 1 percent and 7 percent to legalize ill-gotten gains through three commercial banks and 79 domestic and foreign firms, the ministry said in a faxed statement Monday. More than 150 officials were involved in the investigation.
AvtoVAZ Plans Hike
MOSCOW (Bloomberg) — AvtoVAZ plans to double output to more than 1 million cars a year by 2020, Chief Executive Officer Igor Komarov told reporters Monday in Moscow.
Sales may reach 450,000 this year, Komarov said.
Renault, France’s second-largest automaker, plans to double capacity at its Avtoframos venture in Russia to 160,000 cars a year, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn told reporters in Moscow on Monday.
Europe’s automobile market will probably shrink 10 percent by sales this year, Ghosn told reporters.
MOSCOW (Bloomberg) — TNK-BP, BP’s Russian oil venture with a group of billionaires, may boost output by 1 percent to 2 percent, Chief Operating Officer Bill Schrader told reporters Monday in Moscow.
The company said net income last year was $5 billion. Schrader said 2009 was a “very strong year” for the company.
TNK-BP boosted oil and gas output 2.9 percent to 1.69 million barrels last year, while liquids production rose 2.4 percent, the company said.
Ukraine to Pay on Time
KIEV (Bloomberg) — Ukraine will pay Russia on time for February gas deliveries, Fuel and Energy Minister Yury Prodan told reporters Monday in Kiev.
March gas purchases will depend on the weather, Prodan said. Naftogaz Ukrainy, the state energy company, will seek loans from international finance organizations this year, he said, without giving details.
Corporate Profits Up
MOSCOW (Bloomberg) — Russian corporate profits gained 14 percent last year compared with 2008, the Federal Statistics Service said.
The combined net income of all Russian companies except financial institutions, insurers, small businesses and Russian Railways increased to 4.3 trillion rubles ($143.9 billion) from 3.8 trillion rubles in 2008, the service said in an e-mailed statement Monday.
TBILISI (Bloomberg) — Egyptian investors may develop resorts on Georgia’s Black Sea coast at Gonio, site of a former Russian military base, a regional economic official said.
A group of Egyptian investors visited the area recently and expressed interest in developing a total of about 300 hectares in several areas of Georgia, including Gonio and the central Racha region, said Mikheil Tigishvili, head of the free industrial zone in Kutaisi, where Egyptian home appliance producer Fresh began building factories last June.