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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

S&P's Eyes Debt

Reuters

LONDON — Standard & Poor's said Wednesday it had no plans to cut Russia's credit rating for now despite a dispute with creditors over $48 billion of Soviet debts, but added that the spat had revived questions over Russia's willingness to honor obligations.

"Brinkmanship over this issue risks alienating Western governments, the IMF, commercial creditors and other foreign investors, as it inevitably revives questions about the Russian Federation's willingness to honor its obligations little more than two years after the government's default in August 1998," director of sovereign ratings Konrad Reuss said in a statement.

Russia's "B-" credit rating, which is just above default levels, is not in danger yet as a result of Russia's refusal to meet payments on Paris Club debt, Reuss said.




$91.5M Alrosa Loan

The Moscow Times

MOSCOW — The Export-Import Bank of the United States will hand over a $91.5 million loan to diamond giant Alrosa Co. to finance the purchase of mining equipment, the bank said.

The financing will be used to develop Alrosa's Nyurba mining project located in eastern Siberia about 170 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, Eximbank said in a statement. South Africa's Bateman Engineering has been contracted to work on the field.

Alrosa will repay the loan, the fourth released to the Russian company by Eximbank since 1998, from diamond sales.




Henkel Boosts Stake

The Moscow Times

German washing power giant Henkel has decided to acquire an 84.5 percent stake in Russia's second largest detergents maker Pemos, the company said.

Henkel, which bought 51 percent of Pemos in December, said this week it would take another 33.5 percent over the next 12 months.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The Pemos share acquisitions are part of the German company's bid to secure a third of the local detergent market, board member Klaus Morwind said .




Norilsk Issue Cleared

Reuters

MOSCOW — The Federal Securities Commission said Wednesday it had registered a share issue of Norilsk Mining Co., thus clearing the way for a key stage of restructuring Norilsk Nickel holding.

The commission registered an issue of 122,301,272 Norilsk Mining Co.'s shares with nominal value of 1 ruble that are to be distributed among the current shareholders of the company, a commission spokeswoman said.

The additional share issue of the Norilsk Mining Co., the core production unit of Norilsk Nickel, which accounts for up to 80 percent of the holding's profit, is one of the main stages of the metals' giant restructuring, launched last year.




Kuban Gets Clients

The Moscow Times

The subscriber base of Kuban GSM, the country's largest mobile operator outside Moscow and St. Petersburg, quadrupled in 2000.

The Krasnodar-based provider announced this week it had registered 106,233 subscribers in Dec. 31, up from 26,949 at the beginning of the year.

Mobile telephone subscriptions have shot up 152 percent across Russia over the past year, telecoms news site Sotovik.ru reported Wednesday. It said the subscriber base grew to 3,400,000, with main players Mobile TeleSystems and Vimpelcom having 1,110,000 and 770,000 subscribers, respectively.