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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$510M Sibneft Loan

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Western banks have added $60 million to a July credit to Russia's fifth-largest oil producer, Sibneft, bringing it to $510 million, Sibneft said Monday.

Citibank/Salomon Smith Barney, BNP Paribas and Westdeutsche Landesbank act as mandated arrangers of the loan, while Raiffeisen Zentralbank and Natexis Banques Populaires are lead arrangers.

TNK U.S. Shipment

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Oil major Tyumen Oil Co., or TNK, has transshipped 140,000 tons of oil headed for the United States, the company said Monday.

U.S. company Koch Supply & Trading, which won a tender from TNK in September to purchase oil, will deliver 40,000 tons of the oil to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The remainder will go to a Koch-operated refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas.

MSC Eyes Listing

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Murmansk Shipping Co., which operates the world's biggest fleet of nuclear-powered ice-breakers, may seek a listing on a foreign stock exchange as early as next year, the Financial Times reported Monday.

The company would issue shares representing 15 percent of its capital as part of a plan to raise almost $200 million for new investments in oil freight, the newspaper reported MSC general director Alexander Medvedev as saying.

VTB Buys More Gold

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- State-owned Vneshtorgbank, or VTB, purchased 18 tons of gold from domestic miners in January to September, up 50 percent year on year, VTB deputy treasury head Sergei Zaichenko said Monday.

VTB plans to buy a total of 26 tons of gold this year, up 53 percent from 2001.

Zaichenko said the increase is driven by a 38 percent year-on-year boost in VTB's gold-mining financing program to $109 million in 2002.

Putin Pledges Farm Aid

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The government will provide help to domestic producers to ensure adequate marketing and exports of farm commodities, President Vladimir Putin told a group of leading agricultural producers Monday.

"Finding new markets has become the major problem for the domestic agrarian sector as a result of its recent rapid expansion," Putin said. "This issue cannot be resolved without help from the state."

Merloni Plans Factory

ST. PETERSBURG (Prime-Tass) -- Italian company Merloni TermoSanitari plans to build a factory in the Leningrad region by 2005 that will produce both domestic and industrial water heaters, the regional government said Monday.

The regional government did not provide an exact figure, but said the factory is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars. Construction is expected to begin in August 2003.

VW Mulls UAZ

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- No. 1 German carmaker Volkswagen is considering producing one of its models at the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant, or UAZ, UAZ said Monday.

Volkswagen said it will announce its final decision at the end of November.

Phone Fee Hike

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Anti-Monopoly Ministry last week approved a tariff hike for fixed-line telephones in eight regions starting Nov. 1.

The tariffs will increase by 11.8 percent to 23.1 percent for individual users in Bashkortostan, Kalmykia, Adygeya, North Ossetia, Tuva, the Kurgan region and the Tyumen region.

LUKoil Wins Contract

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- LUKoil-Neftegazstroi, the construction arm of No. 1 oil company LUKoil, announced Monday that it has won a contract to build pipelines for the $12 billion Sakhalin-1 offshore project.

Under the contract, the amount of which was not disclosed, LUKoil-Neftegazstroi will obtain permits for and design, build and put into production pipelines for the oil and gas project northeast of Sakhalin Island.

LUKoil-Neftegazstroi CEO Alexei Mikhailichenko said the company plans to outsource $300 million worth of the contract to Russian subcontractors.

Plastic Plan

MOSCOW (MT) -- The chairman of the State Duma banking committee has proposed eradicating sales tax on all purchases made with credit or bank cards as a way of wiping out the gray economy, Interfax reported Monday.

"If the process of making payments through cards becomes widespread, retail and service providers' turnovers and transactions with individuals will turn 'white,'" Valery Zubov said.

For the Record

Gazprom would require a minimum of 188.1 billion rubles ($5.9 billion) in investment for 2003, involving gas price increases of 50 percent, Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Ananenkov said at the All-Russian Week of Oil and Gas conference Monday. (Prime-Tass)

State oil pipeline monopoly Transneft's net profit is expected to reach 32 billion rubles ($1 billion) in 2002, company president Semyon Vainshtok said Monday. Comparative figures were not available. (Prime-Tass)

Russia exported 25.5 million tons of fossil coal in January to August, down 7.2 percent year on year, the State Customs Committee said Monday. Exports in money terms fell 12.9 percent to $690.5 million. (Prime-Tass)

Standard & Poor's raised its long-term counterparty credit rating on MDM-Bank from CCC+ to B–, the ratings service announced Monday. (MT)

The beginning of a swap of commercial debt inherited from the Soviet Union with Russian sovereign debt securities has been postponed, a government source said Monday. (Prime-Tass)