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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Reserves Up $2.3Bln

The Central Bank said it added $2.3 billion to its foreign currency and gold reserves in the week to April 15, increasing the reserves to $139.8 billion.

The reserves rose $100 million in the previous week. (Bloomberg)

Russia Won't Yield on WTO

Russia can give no more ground on key trade liberalization issues hampering talks on its entry into the World Trade Organization, a Russian negotiator said Wednesday.

Moscow will stand firm against demands that it let foreign banks open branches in Russia and raise domestic energy prices to world levels, delegation member Alexei Likhachyov said by telephone from WTO talks in Geneva. (Reuters)

Oil Stockpiles Planned

Ministries proposed a plan to stockpile supplies of oil products to meet swings in demand, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified person at the Industry and Energy Ministry.

Seven government agencies, including the Industry and Energy, Agriculture, and Finance ministries, proposed the plan, according to Interfax. (Bloomberg)

Export Duty Raised 20%

The government raised the export duty on most oil products by almost one-fifth to a record $81.40 per ton, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified customs official.

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov approved the increase on March 21, and it will take effect on April 24, the official said, according to Interfax. (Bloomberg)

Turkmen Gas Deliveries

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmenistan will resume natural gas deliveries to Gazprom from May 1, but will only deliver 4 billion cubic meters this year, its state news agency reported Thursday.

Gazprom said last week it had reached agreement with the Central Asian state to renew supplies of 7 bcm this year following a row over payment terms.

Turkmenistan halted gas deliveries in January. (Reuters)

$1Bln Gazprom Dividend

Gazprom plans to pay shareholders 28.2 billion rubles ($1 billion) in dividends for 2004, Interfax said, citing an unidentified person close to management.

Management on Thursday voted to pay shareholders 1.19 rubles a share for last year, 70 percent more than in 2003 and one-fifth more than it planned earlier this year, the news service said.

Gazprom shareholders will vote on the proposal June 24, the news agency said. Owners registered by May 6 will receive dividends. (Bloomberg)

Avtotor Wins Court Case

Avtotor, a Russian assembler of foreign cars, successfully challenged a law designed to close tax loopholes for oil producers, paving the way for more companies to do the same, Vedomosti reported.

The Kaliningrad-based company, whose customers include General Motors, BMW and Hyundai, won three court challenges to a 16-month-old law banning so-called internal offshore zones, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

$1Bln Pyatyorochka IPO?

Pyatyorochka Holding, owner of Russia's largest supermarket chain, could raise as much as $1 billion in its initial public offering, people familiar with the sale said.

The company could sell as much as 40 percent of its equity in the London IPO, said the people, who declined to be identified. David Westover, a spokesman for Pyatyorochka in London, declined to comment. (Bloomberg)

Severstal Turkish Bid

Severstal will bid for the Turkish government's 49 percent stake in that country's biggest steel producer, Kommersant reported, citing an unidentified Severstal official.

Mittal Steel and Arcelor will bid for the stake in Erdemir when it is sold. Russia's Novolipetsk Metal Works, which earlier had said it may be interested, declined to comment on whether it plans to bid for Erdemir, Kommersant reported. (Bloomberg)

Planes for Debt

Turkey wants Russia to pay off its $330 million debt to the country with aircraft, Interfax reported, citing Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref.

Turkish officials told Gref during a recent trip to Ankara that they wanted Russian helicopters and amphibious planes, Gref said at a government meeting Thursday in Moscow, Interfax reported.

Gref said Turkey specifically asked for the Be-200 amphibious plane, used to put out fires, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)