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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$3Bln RusAl Plant

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian Aluminum and a unit of Kazakh Eurasian Industrial Association plan to build an aluminum smelter and alumina refinery in Kazakhstan for $3 billion, the companies said Thursday.

The two partners plan to register in Kazakhstan a 50-50 venture, the Eurasian Aluminum Company, before July 1. The project will be financed partly from RusAl's own funds and those of the EIA, and partly by loans.

Reserves Jump $500M

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Gold and foreign exchange reserves rose to $83.2 billion as of May 21 from $82.7 billion as of May 14, the Central Bank said Thursday. The bank traditionally does not comment on weekly figures.

Vimpelcom Profit Soars

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- Vimpelcom, Russia's second-largest cellphone company by subscribers, said first-quarter net income rose 84 percent as the company added about 2 million subscribers in the period. Moscow-based Vimpelcom said first quarter net income rose to $76.1 million from $41.4 million in the year-earlier period, beating analysts' estimates. Revenue rose to $417.7 million from $244.4 million, and the company said it had 14.9 million subscribers as of Thursday.

State Snubs Transneft

MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- Russia should not restrict oil companies' access to state-run Transneft's oil pipelines, Ivan Materov, a deputy Industry and Energy minister, said Thursday. Transneft should ensure equal access to all producers by allowing companies to compete for pipeline resources on the basis of price, Materov said.

He rejected Transneft CEO Semyon Vainshtok's call last week for stricter controls on output to protect Russia's oil resources from depletion.

CenterTelecom No. 1

MOSCOW (MT) -- CenterTelecom, a subsidiary of the government-owned Svyazinvest group, has the best corporate governance of 137 firms ranked by the Expert ratings agency and the Russian Institute of Directors. CenterTelecom was the only company to rank in the "A" category for corporate governance.

New VEB Chairman

MOSCOW (MT) -- President Vladimir Putin appointed Vladimir Dmitriyev as chairman of state-owned Vneshekonombank Thursday, Interfax reported.

Dmitriyev, former deputy president of Vneshtorgbank, was given a three-year contract. Vladimir Chernukhin was relieved from the post as he is moving to another post, the Kremlin said.

Pyatyorochka Stake

MOSCOW (MT) -- Russia's largest retail chain, Pyatyorochka, has bought back a stake in itself from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

The deal was announced Wednesday by Berkeley Capital Partners Fund, which is funded by the EBRD, but no information about the buyer of the stake or its size was provided.