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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Reserves Rise

The country's foreign currency and gold reserves rose to $163.3 billion as of Nov. 18, adding $100 million from a week before, the Central Bank said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Kudrin Has Appendicitis

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has been operated on for appendicitis and should be back at work within a few days, his deputy Sergei Shatalov said on Thursday.

Kudrin was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday after returning from a trip to Russia's Far East. He has undergone successful surgery, Shatalov said. (Reuters)

6% GDP Growth in 2005

The economy will probably expand 6 percent this year, Interfax reported Thursday, citing Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref.

Consumer prices will probably rise between 11.2 percent and 11.5 percent this year, Interfax reported, citing statements Gref made during a meeting Thursday with President Vladimir Putin at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow. (Bloomberg)

Consumer Prices Up 0.6%

The country's consumer price index rose 0.6 percent in the first 21 days of November, Alexei Ulyukayev, the Central Bank's first deputy chairman, told reporters on Thursday. He also said inflation was on course to be 11 percent for the full year. (Reuters)

Gazprom Debate Friday

The State Duma will hold the first reading of a bill to liberalize trading in the shares of Gazprom on Friday, the head of the Energy, Transportation and Communications Committee said on Thursday.

Duma deputies voted on Wednesday to delay the first reading of the bill, a long-awaited reform that is likely to boost the value of the world's largest gas company. (Reuters)

Raising U.K. Gas Prices

LONDON -- Gazprom plans to increase fuel deliveries to Britain by 25 percent next year on expectations prices will rise.

Gazprom plans to supply 5 billion cubic meters of gas to Britain in 2006, up from 4 billion bcm planned this year, said Alexander Medvedev, a Gazprom deputy chief executive.

The company expects wholesale prices in Europe to rise to about $200 per 1,000 cubic meters next year, Medvedev said Wednesday in Moscow. (Bloomberg)

Raising Georgian Prices

Natural gas export monopoly Gazprom wants to charge Georgia 75 percent more for gas next year as it phases out subsidies for former Soviet states.

"The subsidized price we are proposing to them is $110" per 1,000 cubic meters, Gazprom deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Sibneft Violates Licenses

Sibneft, which Gazprom bought last month for $13.1 billion, violated exploration and production licenses at 14 fields in Siberia, the Natural Resources Ministry said Thursday.

Sibneft-Noyabrskneftegaz, Sibneft's largest oil- producing unit, will be asked by field development supervisors to eliminate the violations, the ministry said Thursday in a statement.

Sibneft was asked "to cut the number of idle wells," the ministry said. (Bloomberg)

TNK-BP Share Deal

TNK-BP will file documents that might make it easier for at least $2 billion of shares in its main unit to be traded, said investors who received notification of the company's plans.

TNK-BP will clear the way for shares in TNK-BP Holding to be quoted on the RTS board by registering a prospectus with the market regulator in the first quarter of next year. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk Shareholder Offer

Norilsk Nickel offered on Thursday to buy out minority shareholders who did not support its plan to spin off gold unit Polyus at a substantial discount to its market share price.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly on Sept. 30 in favor of spinning off Polyus into a separate company.

Holders of 5 percent of Norilsk's shares who did not vote, or voted against the spin-off, will be offered cash for their shares. (Reuters)

Norilsk Share Buyback

Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest nickel and palladium miner, will spend $700 million on a share buyback as it prepares to spin off its gold-producing unit, Russia's biggest gold company.

The company will buy back 10,835,738 shares, Norilsk said Thursday on its web site. The shares are valued at 1,855 rubles ($64) and shareholders approved the plan at a Sept. 30 meeting.

Norilsk wants to spin off Polyus; a 20 percent stake in Gold Fields, the world's No. 4 gold producer; and 10 billion rubles ($352 million) in cash to create Polyus Gold. (Bloomberg)

Cukurova Ruling

ISTANBUL -- Cukurova said a Swiss judge had lifted an injunction against the transfer of shares in Turkcell to a third party, a move that may open the way for Alfa Group to buy a stake.

Cukurova has agreed to sell a 13 percent stake in Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile phone company, to Alfa.

TeliaSonera, the Nordic phone company that is the second-largest shareholder in Turkcell, has sued to stop the sale in courts in Switzerland, Austria and Turkey. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine Gas

KIEV -- Ukraine's state oil and gas firm Naftogaz vowed on Thursday to "stand to the death" to defend the country's interests in talks with gas giant Gazprom on supplies and transit for next year.

"This has now turned into a strictly political issue. Gazprom has painted itself into a corner with its ultimatums," Naftogaz head Oleksiy Ivchenko said at a news conference. (Reuters)

For the Record

A zoning law passed earlier this week by the City Duma prohibits gambling facilities from operating closer than 100 meters to schools and other organizations that work with minors, Interfax reported. (MT)

Shares in oil firm Sibir Energy climbed as much as 10 percent on Thursday after it said the on-shore Salym oil fields would start producing commercially this week. (Reuters)

The main unit of steel major Mechel was to restart some of its key production units on Thursday after a loss of cooling water supplies forced a shutdown of the plant's blast furnaces. (Reuters)

British steelmaker Corus said Thursday that Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov no longer had a "notifiable" stake in the company, meaning he holds less than 3 percent. (Bloomberg)