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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

MNK President's Sale

MOSCOW (Vedomosti) -- No. 5 oil major Sibneft may buy the main assets of London-listed Sibir Energy, which has western Siberian oil fields with reserves of up to 500 million tons.

Shalva Chigirinsky, president of Moscow Oil Co., or MNK, owns 75 percent or more of each of Sibir Energy's core assets -- oil companies Evikhon, Yugraneft and Magma.

An agreement on the sale of Chigirinsky's assets is to be signed within the next few days, a source close to MNK's top management said.

A source close to Sibneft shareholders confirmed that talks are being held with Chigirinsky. "Sibneft wants to buy all of Chigirinsky's oil assets," the source said.

North-West Boost

MOSCOW (MT) -- North-West Telecom more than doubled its revenues in 2001 to 3.951 billion rubles ($126.96 million) from 1.828 billion rubles in 2000, the company said. Net profit decreased by 3.49 percent to 364.1 million rubles.

North-West is in the process of reorganization, with eight local operators in the northwestern district to be consolidated with the company.

RusAl, KrAZ Shares

MOSCOW (MT) –– Russian Aluminum spokesman Alexei Prokhorov said RusAl shareholders and the company itself own about 95 percent of the Krasnoyarsky Aluminum Factory, Interfax reported Monday.

However, the Federal Securities Commission said RusAl's stake in KrAZ has fallen from 66.13 percent to 22 percent after a recent issue of 57 million shares, each with a nominal value of 0.125 rubles.

Before the stock emission, another 28 percent belonged to companies with ties to former KrAZ chairman Anatoly Bykov. Interfax said. It is unclear who owned the remaining 5 percent.

MSE Court Victory

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Moscow Stock Exchange, which had called for the lifting of a number of restrictions on obligatory foreign currency revenue sales.

The court ruled that the restrictions imposed by the Central Bank, forcing Russian legal entities to sell part of their currency earnings through authorized banks to other authorized banks, contradict the law on currency regulation and control. The decision can be appealed within 10 days.

Surgut May Cut

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia's No. 3 oil firm Surgutneftegaz may further cut its dividends this year from its 2001 payout, already criticized by minority shareholders as extremely low, analysts said Monday.

They said the firm told analysts at Saturday's shareholders meeting in Surgut that the book value of its assets would triple after an asset revaluation later this year.

Trade Quiet

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia's key share index edged off last week's peaks to close lower in quiet trade Monday, with local traders reluctant to make moves without cues from holidaying Western investors, dealers said.

The RTS index inched down 0.28 percent to 349.77, after closing Friday at 350.75, while the MICEX slipped 0.05 percent to 1,586 on a low turnover of 1.27 billion rubles ($41 million).

For the Record

The State Statistics Committee said Monday the federal budget had a surplus of 82.9 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) in January, compared to 34 billion rubles in January 2001, Interfax reported. (MT)

Manufacturers reported a three-month spike in new orders drove up output growth in March for the second month in a row after a nearly flat January, Moscow Narodny Bank said in a survey Monday. (Reuters)

Kazakhstan has topped the CIS in terms of industrial growth in the first two months of the year, posting growth of 12 percent, compared with Russia's 2.1 percent, Interfax reported. (MT)

The Central Bank said Monday it would hold an auction May 29 for $50 million in foreign currency, one of the favored ways for investors to convert and repatriate rubles received from a 1998 debt restructure. (Reuters)