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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Goldovsky Denied Bail

MOSCOW (MT) -- Former Sibur president Yakov Goldovsky, who has been held in prison on embezzlement charges since January, was denied bail for the third time Thursday, news agencies reported.

The Gagarinsk court granted former Sibur vice president Yevgeny Koshchits, a co-defendant in the case, bail of 2 million rubles ($60,000) Interfax reported. Judge Lyubov Zvyagina cited Koshchits weakened health and family situation as reasons for his release.

Koshchits' lawyer said the defendant would not flee nor pressure witnesses.

Goldovsky's lawyer, Anatoly Kleimenov, argued that the defendant was preparing for a serious operation and required constant medical attention.

The Prosecutor General's Office has accused Goldovsky of abuse of authority, theft of entrusted property and money laundering. Koshchits is accused of participating in these crimes.

Blacklist Delay

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Financial Action Task Force will not take Russia off a blacklist of countries not doing enough to fight money laundering in October 2002 for bureaucratic reasons, Interfax reported a Financial Monitoring Committee official as saying Thursday.

The committee's first deputy, Yury Chikhanchin, said the FATF may consider taking Russia off the blacklist in February 2003.

Chikhanchin said Russia has resolved all problems for which it was blacklisted. The committee is required to send the FATF a list of further measures aimed at removing Russia from the list.

FATF experts may be sent to Russia in the fall to study the situation.

Yukos Rail Buy

MOSCOW (MT) -- Yukos has acquired 66 percent in Mongolian railroad operator Vostok Asia Transit, the AK&M news agency reported Wednesday.

Yukos is aggressively courting China as a destination for its oil exports from eastern Siberia. In 2000, the oil company and Mongolia's Infrastructure Development Ministry signed an agreement on the status of Mongolia as a transit country for crude and oil products.

Yukos' press service declined to comment on the cost of the acquisition.

Sibneft Taps Gas

MOSCOW (MT) -- Sibneft completed its first well at the West Ozyornoye gas field in the Chukotka region, the oil major said Thursday in a statement.

Roman Abramovich, Sibneft's majority owner, is governor of Chukotka.

The West Ozyornoye field, estimated to hold 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas, is the first pure gas field to be developed by Sibneft.

"Sibneft is studying a range of projects to deliver gas both in the form of pipeline and liquefied natural gas, as well as opportunities in the field of gas processing," Sibneft president Eugene Shvidler said.

The government has said it plans to liberalize the industry and loosen the grip of monopoly Gazprom in the coming years.

New Tax Posts

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- The Tax Ministry plans to create special tax positions at refineries and oil product trading companies, Tatyana Karasyova, director of the ministry's policy department, said Thursday.

The positions are stipulated in the new Tax Code, which is to take effect Jan. 1, Karasyova said.

By creating these posts the ministry hopes to increase budget revenues from excise taxes on oil products, she said, adding that all refineries and oil product traders would have to be registered with the tax authorities by Jan. 1.

Only companies with refining facilities and oil product storage would be granted tax registration, Karasyova said.

After Jan. 1, companies will not be able to deduct excise tax payments if they supply oil products "to a virtual trader to cut its tax payments," she said.

Kazakh Power Sales

IRKUTSK, Eastern Siberia (Prime-Tass) -- The Irkutskenergo utility has started selling power to Kazakhstan, Itar-Tass quoted a company source as saying Thursday.

The two sides agreed on the transmission of 100 million kilowatt-hours of power, the source said, adding that Kazakhstan is willing to begin buying up to 300 kwh per quarter starting next year.

Last year, Irkutskenergo's hydroelectric power plants produced 54.483 billion kwh of power, while the Irkutsk region consumed around 40 billion kwh.

Irkutskenergo is negotiating power supplies to Mongolia, the source said.

RusAl Eyes KrAZ Stake

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Russian Aluminum is looking to buy a stake in subsidiary Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant, or KrAZ, RusAl spokesman Alexei Prokhorov, said Thursday.

KrAZ is controlled by Anatoly Bykov, who said Wednesday that he was ready to sell his stake in the smelter to RusAl, which already controls about 96 percent.

Sources close to RusAl said Bykov now holds 2 percent in KrAZ.

"Our company has not received any offers yet, but we are ready to discuss them," Prokhorov said. "We are ready to buy shares from any minority shareholder, including Bykov." RusAl wants to gain 100 percent of KrAZ, he added.

In June, Bykov was found guilty of ordering the murders of some of his business colleagues and was sentenced to six years in prison. But the court released him on parole.

$49M RusAl loan

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- No. 1 retail bank Sberbank has granted Russian Aluminum a five-year loan of $49 million, Sberbank and RusAl said in a statement Thursday.

The loan was intended to finance RusAl's investment programs and modernize the RusAl-owned Bratsk and Krasnoyarsk aluminum smelters, the country's two largest.

Nuclear Loan Payment

MOSCOW (MT) -- State nuclear power holding Rosenergoatom is to make a loan payment of 700 million rubles ($22.22 million) to Unified Energy Systems, RBC reported UES as saying Thursday.

In 2001, UES granted an interest-free credit of 4.5 billion rubles to Rosenergoatom as part of a deal to repay Russian-Czech state debt. Rosenergoatom was to have payed UES 2.1 billion rubles by July, but only payed 1.4 billion rubles.

UES filed suit to render the loan null, but the suit was withdrawn following negotiations with Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev. The repayment schedule has been updated.

Rosenergoatom is to repay 700 million rubles in the next few months.

Reserves Up $900M

MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Hard currency and gold reserves rose $900 million to $43.5 billion in the week ending Aug. 2, the Central Bank said Thursday.