Four foreign companies are ready to take part in the construction of a light metro in the Moscow Region, ITAR-TASS reported, citing regional officials. The companies include Germany’s Siemens, France’s Alstom, China Railway Construction and Italy’s Finmeccanica. It was earlier reported that Siemens is not only ready to participate in developing the project, but also to finance it.
German consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in nearly eight years, MarketWatch said, citing survey data from the Nuremberg-based GfK institute published on Friday. The consumer-sentiment indicator for August is due to rise to 9.0 versus July's 8.9. The mood is exceedingly robust in July, and the consumer climate “not only remained at an extremely good level, but even improved slightly,” the institute said.
Russia’s largest oil producer’s profit surged almost eightfold, beating estimates, to 171 billion rubles ($4.87 billion) in the three months to June 30, Bloomberg reported. Oil and gas sales rose 24 percent to 757 billion rubles, driving total revenue up 22 percent to 1.44 trillion rubles. Daily hydrocarbon production increased by 4.6 percent in Q2, EBITDA increased by 41 percent, net income increased 5 times, with net debt being reduced by 3,653 billion rubles, according to energyland.info. The company is preparing a plan to limit the impact of US-led sanctions.
Moving processing to Russia could cost Visa $50 million, RBC reported, citing the payment company’s statement in a conference call on its quarterly report. The move is required by new Russian legislation and is needed if a company wants to avoid paying a substantial security deposit. Visa is in talks with Russian authorities and banks on a solution.
Exxon Mobil is weighing up a possible multibillion-dollar expansion of its 344,600 barrel-per-day Beaumont, Texas, refinery, Reuters said. The move could make it the nation’s largest by 2020, industry sources say. The company has also reportedly made plans to replace four coking unit drums in 2015 and add two new coker drums in 2017 at the Beaumont refinery. The biggest refinery is Motiva Enterprises LLC in Port Arthur, Texas. The plant has a 600,250 bpd capacity.
The EU and Ukraine have agreed to set up a consultative group on gas, ITAR-TASS quoted Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan as saying on Thursday. He made the statement after talks with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. The group will include two representatives from the European Commission and two from Ukraine. The minister reiterated that Ukraine is ready to receive EU monitors at gas measuring stations.
Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points on Friday in an unexpected move, saying it could raise rates further, Reuters said. The decision brings the central policy rate, the one-week minimum auction repo rate to 8.0 percent, after cumulative rate hikes of 200 basis points in March and April. The bank cited concerns about high inflation and the current geopolitical tensions.