BRIEFS

BRIEFS

EAST AFRICAN COFFEE

INTERESTS SET UP GROUPNAIROBI - Eastern African coffee entrepreneurs are to create their own organization, according to Frederick Kuwuma, executive director of the Uganda Coffee Trade Federation.

Mr. Kuwuma told reporters Saturday the proposed Eastern Africa Coffee Cooperation Forum is aimed at sharing scientific information among the member states.

EACCF's membership is to cover Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. UCTF has more than 70 members, including coffee exporters, growers, processors, agents, brokers, traders, roasters, insurers and bankers.

RUSSIAN OIL FIRM SAID

TO BE WORTH $2.3 BILLION

MOSCOW - Britain's Kleinwort Benson has determined the market value of Russia's state-owned Rosneft oil company at $2.3 billion, an official at Rosneft said Monday. Rosneft is expected to be auctioned later this year.

The official said Kleinwort Benson had determined the cost for each of two stakes in Rosneft that might be sold first.

The Russian government is weighing two possible sales approaches: 75 percent of the company's assets, plus one share, or just 50 percent of assets, plus one share. The government has not yet determined which approach it will take when it auctions off the company.

OIL PRODUCERS WORRIED

BY DOWNTURN IN PRICES

A mild winter, the Asian financial crisis and increased OPEC oil production have cut oil prices nearly in half in some areas. Small U.S. oil producers say they have shut down wells, and the turmoil has convinced some related industries to get out of a business that has struggled for years.

It has meant the end for many marginally economic wells, which produce an average of less than three barrels of oil a day and start losing money when the price of oil drops below $15 a barrel.