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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

June Inflation Up

Russia's inflation rate accelerated 0.6 percent in June from the previous month, Interfax reported, citing Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref.

Consumer prices rose 7.3 percent in January through May, including 0.8 percent in May, the news service said. (Bloomberg)

Russia First Debt Payment

Russia disbursed the first installment of a $15 billion debt repayment to the Paris Club of lender countries on Tuesday, paying an unspecified amount to key creditor Germany, Vneshekonombank said.

In May, Russia signed an agreement to repay early $15 billion of the $40 billion debt it inherited from the Soviet Union to the Paris Club. (Reuters)

June Services PMI Expands

Russia's services industries expanded in June at the fastest pace since May 2004, as the growing economy gave consumers more money to spend, an index of industry managers showed.

Moscow Narodny Bank's seasonally adjusted services index rose to 59.3 in June, from 57.6 in May, the British-based bank said. A score greater than 50 signals expansion from the previous month. A figure below that indicates contraction. (Bloomberg)

Court Bans Novatek Sale

A Chechen court banned natural gas producer Novatek from selling a 66 percent stake in Siberian oil company Geoilbent to LUKoil, Vedomosti reported.

The ruling, based on a claim by a Novatek shareholder named Viskhan Gaiteyev, also prohibits national oil-pipeline monopoly Transneft from shipping Geoilbent's oil and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service from approving the sale, the newspaper said.

The Chechen court's ruling, on July 1, is the third by a Russian court banning LUKoil's acquisition of Geoilbent; the previous ones were overturned, the paper said. (Bloomberg)

BP's Russian Growth Slows

LONDON -- Oil company BP said oil and gas production rose 3.5 percent in the second quarter as the pace of growth at its Russian joint venture slowed.

Second-quarter production averaged 4.11 million barrels per day, compared with the 3.97 million bpd reported for the year-earlier period. (Bloomberg)

Novatek Delays Road Show

Novatek has delayed for some days a road show of its share placement in London from Wednesday, banking sources said.

"The road show is slightly delayed. It may begin on Monday at the latest. There are many rumors surrounding the delay, but the main reason is still not clear to me," one banking source said.

Another source said the delay was only for two days. (Reuters)

China Seeks 50% More Oil

BEIJING -- China said Tuesday that it hoped to increase oil imports by rail from Russia by 50 percent next year to 105 million barrels as it looks for foreign energy to fuel its booming economy.

China expected to import 70 million barrels of Russian oil by rail this year, and expects that to grow to 105 million barrels next year, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao. (AP)

UES Production Up in H1

Unified Energy Systems increased electricity production 1.3 percent in the first half of the year, as a seventh straight year of economic growth boosted power demand.

Output in the six-month period rose to 335.8 billion kilowatt-hours, or 72 percent of the country's power consumption, which rose 1.5 percent to 467 billion kilowatt hours, UES said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Abramovich Buys ProSport?

Billionaire Roman Abramovich is behind the purchase of glossy sports magazine ProSport, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

Vedomosti reported that the magazine had been bought by Abramovich via Vokrug Sveta publishing house.

The magazine has been sold to Vokrug Sveta, confirmed ProSport editor Stanislav Gridasov on Tuesday. However, Gridasov said he had no knowledge of any involvement by Abramovich in the deal.

ProSport, which was founded in 2003 and has a circulation of 60,000, was previously owned by Independent Media, the parent company of The Moscow Times. (MT)

MTS License Restored

Turkmenistan, which last week revoked the license of mobile phone operator Mobile TeleSystems, has restored it, the company said.

MTS bought a controlling stake in BCTI, a Texas-incorporated company that provides mobile services in Turkmenistan, on June 27, but BCTI's Turkmen operating license was revoked two days later. (Reuters)

Norilsk's Gold Expansion

Polyus, the gold-producing arm of Norilsk Nickel, plans to at least quadruple output by 2012 through purchases in Russia and abroad.

Polyus aims to raise annual output to between 4.5 million and 4.8 million ounces of gold in 2012. (Bloomberg)

Metro Comes to St. Pete

STOCKHOLM -- Metro International, which publishes free newspapers, said Tuesday that it had signed a franchise agreement in Russia, which would boost earnings from the first year.

The arrangement is with the St. Petersburg newspaper Metro, Metro said.

According to the accord, Metro has bought the "Metro" trademark in both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets in the Russian Federation.

It also gives Metro the option to later acquire 51 percent of the company publishing Metro newspaper in Russia.

The St. Petersburg paper will use the trademarks on a franchise basis and pay a royalty fee to Metro in return. (Bloomberg)

GM-AvtoVAZ Dividend

Automotive joint venture GM-AvtoVAZ will pay $30 million to shareholders for 2004, its first-ever dividend since the venture kicked off in 2002.

The amount recommended by the board will be paid out in August, GM executive Warren Browne told Interfax on Tuesday. Dividends will be paid to GM and AvtoVAZ, which each hold a 41.5 percent stake in common shares, the agency reported. (MT)

Juice Maker Acquisition

Wimm-Bill-Dann may announce an acquisition within a month, Marina Kagan, head of investor relations, said in an interview.

The company is in discussions regarding an unspecified number of acquisitions, she said, without giving more information. (Bloomberg)