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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Moscow Loses Expo

MONACO (Reuters) -- Shanghai will host the 2010 World Exposition after bidding fiercely to organize the event, which is expected to fuel millions of dollars of investment, Expo officials announced in Monaco on Tuesday.

The Paris-based International Exhibitions Bureau chose Shanghai in a ballot over Yeosu in South Korea, Queretaro in Mexico, Wroclaw in Poland, and Moscow.

Chinese officials have pledged to invest $3 billion in transport and infrastructure ahead of the exhibition, which is one of the largest events in the world.

Byzantio on to Belgium

LONDON (Reuters) -- The aging oil tanker Byzantio, under siege from environmentalists who claim it poses a spill threat, is heading for Belgium's port of Antwerp, its shipping manager said Tuesday.

The 26-year-old ship, which loaded 53,000 tons of heavy fuel oil from Estonia on Friday, will avoid entering French, Spanish or Portuguese waters after these countries began chasing suspected spill threats out to sea.

Lomonosov Investment

YAKUTSK, Far East (Prime-Tass) -- An Alrosa subsidiary and a consortium advised by British company Fleming Family & Partners plan to invest $350 million in the development of the Lomonosov diamond deposit in the Arkhangelsk region, Alrosa reported Tuesday.

The members of the consortium were not disclosed, but a representative for Investment Group Alrosa, the uncut diamond monopoly's subsidiary, said members of the investment consortium may receive an unspecified stake in Severalmaz, to whom the project license belongs, in the future.

The project is owned 71.87 percent by Alrosa and 25.64 percent by Arkhangelsk's property committee.

Belarus' Slavneft Stake

MOSCOW (MT) -- Belarus intends to sell its 10.83 percent stake in Slavneft to a foreign investor -- and soon, RosBusinessConsulting reported, quoting an unnamed official in Russia's State Property Fund, which holds 74.95 percent of Slavneft.

Minsk has been holding talks with several foreign companies. Sibneft had offered $207 million for the stake, but Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that this price is too low.

Information was made public Friday that a Panamanian company was interested in the sale. Until then, Slavneftebank, a company representing Sibneft's interests, was thought to be the only bidder for Belarus' stake.

Chinese Launder Pact

BEIJING (Prime-Tass) -- President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement Monday in Beijing concerning Russian-Chinese cooperation on currency control and combating money laundering and financial terrorism, Central Bank deputy head Viktor Melnikov said Monday, Itar-Tass reported.

He added that the two nations intended to establish a constant exchange of information and qualified specialists, saying terrorism could be fought through strengthening international contacts and cooperation.

Candy Market Share

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Financial investment group Gosinkor Holding, which controls major confectioners Rot Front and Krasny Oktyabr, plans to invest around $150 million in a drive for its companies to claim more than 25 percent of the market combined, Gosinkor said in a statement Monday.

Gosinkor holds 51 percent of Krasny Oktyabr and 52 percent of Rot Front. According to preliminary estimates, Krasny Oktyabr's sales this year will reach 5.5 billion rubles ($170 million) and Rot Front's sales will reach 4 billion rubles.

ElcomSoft Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- A jury was selected Monday in a first-of-its-kind criminal case pitting a Russian software company against U.S. prosecutors who charge one of its programs was written to subvert copyright protections under a controversial four-year-old law.

Deliberations are due to begin by Dec. 12 in the closely watched case -- the first criminal prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Prosecutors charge that software vendor ElcomSoft violated the act with a software program that allows users to sidestep copyright safeguards in electronic books published using Adobe System Inc.'s eBook format.

$27.3M RusAl Loan

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, has extended a $27.3 million loan to the country's largest aluminum producer, Russian Aluminum, the bank said Tuesday.

The five-year credit will go toward modernization of RusAl's Sayanogorsk Aluminum Plant, the country's third largest, Sberbank said in a statement.

Sayanogorsk produced about 303,000 metric tons of aluminum in the first nine months of this year, 2,000 tons more than in the same period last year, it said.

Curbs on EU Meat

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) -- European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy has played down Russian anger over new EU wheat quotas, saying Moscow's threats to curb meat imports could be a negotiating tactic.

Russia, Europe's largest livestock market, says it plans to restrict meat imports in 2003, a potential blow to the EU and to the United States, a major poultry supplier. Moscow did not single out the EU, but the curbs were seen as retaliation.

Scania Bus Venture

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Swedish heavy truck and bus maker Scania and Russia's Volzhanin bus manufacturer have signed an agreement on joint production of inter-city buses, Volzhanin's press service said Tuesday.

The buses will be manufactured in Russia using Scania's running gear. They will be sold through both companies' distribution networks. The agreement also envisages the creation of a joint service center in Russia.