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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Sheremetyevo-3 Partners

Aeroflot will team up with two domestic banks to construct a new terminal at Sheremetyevo Airport, Interfax reported Sunday.

It quoted a company source as saying that Aeroflot's board approved a plan on Friday naming Sberbank and Vneshtorgbank as partners in the $430 million project.

The move would help the carrier secure a steady flow of funding for the project, key to Aeroflot's plans to turn itself into a competitive global player ahead of the possible sale of the state's 51 percent stake in the airline next year.

Interfax also said Aeroflot's board approved participation of a state company controlling the airport's existing two terminals in the construction of Sheremetyevo-3. (Reuters)

Gazprom in Sakhalin-2?

LONDON -- Royal Dutch/Shell Group, the leader of a project developing Sakhalin-2 oil and gas deposit, has agreed to give Gazprom a stake in the venture, the Observer reported Sunday, without saying where it got the information.

Shell may give up as much as a 7 percent shareholding to Gazprom, diluting its own 55 percent stake and possibly losing majority control of Sakhalin, the paper said. In exchange, Shell will become a partner in Shtokman, an Arctic oil and gas project, according to the report.

For Shell, accepting Gazprom as a partner may ensure the government will not raise any obstacles to the project, the paper said. (Bloomberg)

Aircraft Firm's Shareholders

The government will allow foreign investors to own shares in the planned aircraft company set up by merging airplane builders, Interfax reported Friday, citing Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko.

The state's stake should be "more than" 60 percent in the company, Khristenko told reporters, Interfax said. He said the company may have "private" and "foreign" shareholders.

The government reportedly plans to set up the company by the end of 2006 by combining Irkut, Sukhoi, MiG, Ilyushin, Tupolev and engineering units and factories. (Bloomberg)

Venezuela Arms Deal Inked

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela on Thursday signed a $120 million contract for 10 Russian helicopters as part of efforts to reinforce its military, especially along the frontier with Colombia.

The helicopter contract, agreed at a bilateral meeting in Moscow last year, is one of several recent weapons deals negotiated by Venezuela that have stirred U.S. concerns over regional security.

Defense Minister General Jorge Garcia Carneiro signed the contract for the attack and transport helicopters with representatives from Russian state exporter Rosoboronexport as part of a broader deal for 44 aircraft over five years.

The signing of the helicopter deal clears the way for Venezuela's purchase of 100,000 Russian-made Kalashnikov automatic rifles. (Reuters)

Copper Auction Delayed

The government has decided to put off until November an auction for the rights to tap one of the world's biggest copper deposits, Udokan in Siberia, a Natural Resources Ministry spokesman said Friday.

Separately, Kazakhstan's copper monopoly Kazakhmys, which had expressed interest in Udokan, one of Russia's most lucrative mining assets, on Friday announced it was pulling out of the race.

"A new tender plan has been approved whereby the tender for Udokan will take place in November," the ministry spokesman said. Udokan had been previously due to be auctioned off in March.

The spokesman did not explain why the ministry had decided to delay the tender. The government has been debating tender terms for years and changed its timing several times. (Reuters)

Balkan Pipeline All Set

ATHENS -- The governments of Greece, Russia and Bulgaria will sign an agreement in April for the construction of a trans-Balkan oil pipeline, the Greek Development Ministry said late Thursday.

"We have set April 15 as the final date for the signing of the memorandum," Greek Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Salagoudis said after a meeting in Moscow. The group of companies that will take part in the construction "advised wholeheartedly" that the three governments sign the memorandum, Salagoudis said. The group found "satisfactory" the economic parameters of the project and the answers to the questions the group had submitted to the representatives of the three governments, Salagoudis said. (AP)

ONGC Kovykta Interest

India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. may participate in developing the Kovykta natural gas field in Siberia, Interfax reported Friday, citing Irina Dumova, deputy head of the Irkutsk regional administration.

ONGC may seek to take part in projects in eastern Siberia and the Far East, she said, Interfax reported.

Irkutsk has an 11 percent stake in Kovykta, where TNK-BP has 63 percent. The field is near the Chinese border and holds enough fuel to supply Asia for 10 years. (Bloomberg)

MMK '04 Profit Soars 64%

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, Russia's second-biggest steelmaker, said profit soared 64 percent last year.

Net income surged to 33.4 billion rubles ($1.22 billion) from 20.4 billion rubles in 2003 under Russian accounting standards, the company said in a statement Friday. Sales rose 50 percent to 133.5 billion rubles. (Bloomberg)