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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

CB Bill Signed

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill regulating the status and activities of the Central Bank, the presidential press service reported Thursday.

Under the law, the bank will remain independent, although the government is expected to increase its control.

Gazprom, Itera Deal

MOSCOW (Vedomosti) -- Gazprom and Itera signed an agreement Wednesday to settle their companies' mutual debts.

Gazprom will buy out Itera's final disputed asset -- 45 percent of Armrosgazprom, the exclusive supplier of gas to Armenia. The deal is valued at $126 million.

After the deal is completed, Itera will owe Gazprom $60 million, which must be paid within two years.

SPP Deal Closure

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (Reuters) -- Slovakia was to close the sale of control in the key East-West natural gas carrier SPP to a pan-European consortium and collect the agreed $2.7 billion purchase price for the deal on Thursday, a spokesman said.

The Slovak government chose Gaz de France, Germany's Ruhrgas and Gazprom to buy 49 percent and management rights in SPP.

The state will retain 51 percent.

Perm Shareholder Fight

MOSCOW (MT) -- Three board members representing U.S. Pratt & Whitney in Perm-based aircraft engine design company Aviadvigatel were banned by court bailiffs Thursday from taking part in the board meeting.

The meeting was called off later.

The bailiffs acted after a Perm-based court ruling in connection with a lawsuit by another Aviadvigatel board member.

One of the board members, Sergei Permyakov, claims vote calculation at a shareholder meeting in June was invalid since P&W's ownership of 25.06 percent in the engine designer is illegal.

The new board of directors elected at the meeting is also invalid, he said.

Permyakov said Russian legislation prohibits foreign ownership of more than 25 percent in the aviation industry.

For the Record

No. 1 cellular operator Mobile TeleSystems said Thursday it has purchased Altai region-based cellular operator Mobikom-Barnaul for $2.4 million. (MT)

Imports from non-CIS countries in January to June rose 19.2 percent year on year to $15.953 billion, the State Customs Committee said Thursday. (Prime-Tass)

No. 2 aluminum producer SUAL produced 305,900 tons of the metal in the first half of this year, a 4.2 percent increase from the same period in 2001, the firm said Thursday. (Reuters)

The foreign trade surplus fell in May to $3.7 billion from $4.3 billion in April, the Central Bank said Thursday. (Reuters)