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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Rosneft IPO at End of 2006

Shares in Rosneft, the state-owned oil producer, will not be sold to the public until the end of 2006 at the earliest, Interfax reported, citing Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref.

Part of Rosneft may be sold before an initial public offering of the company's stock is made, Gref said in remarks reported by Interfax.

Rosneft last week signed a $7.5 billion loan, the biggest ever by a Russian company, to pay for a controlling stake in Gazprom. Russia owns 100 percent of Rosneft. (Bloomberg)

Putin to Push Oil Link

President Vladimir Putin told Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis he wanted to pursue 13-year-old plans to build an oil link to bypass Turkey's Bosporus, the biggest route for crude exports from the former Soviet Union.

Putin spoke with Karamanlis on Friday after flying to Greece from Berlin, where he oversaw the signing of an accord to build a $2 billion gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Gazprom, E.ON and BASF will build the link.

Russian, Bulgarian and Greek companies and government officials in May agreed to form a company to build a 300-kilometer oil pipeline from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean to reduce tanker traffic in Turkey's crowded shipping lanes. (Bloomberg)

Abramovich in Kazakhstan?

Roman Abramovich and his partners are in talks to buy BMB Munai, a U.S.-registered oil company in Kazakhstan, Vedomosti said, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Millhouse Capital, the company owned by Abramovich and his partners that manages their majority stake in Sibneft and other holdings, is looking at other assets in the region as the partners consider selling Sibneft, the newspaper reported Friday.

Sibneft's shareholders may face competition for BMB Munai from China National Petroleum Corp., Vedomosti said. China National Petroleum bid $4.18 billion for PetroKazakhstan, which accounts for about 12 percent of Kazakhstan's oil production. (Bloomberg)

Miller Says Gas Price to Rise

Alexei Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, said the price of gas would continue to rise with the price of oil, Spiegel magazine reported, citing an interview.

Miller rejected a call from German politicians to sever the link between gas and oil prices, the magazine said. "In contrast to oil, there isn't a market price for natural gas that can really be established on an exchange," Miller was quoted as saying.

Miller also said other companies may get involved in building a pipeline to carry natural gas from Siberia to Germany, according to Spiegel. (Bloomberg)

Enel Eyeing Mosenergo

Shares in Mosenergo, Moscow's power and heat utility, rose as much as 19 percent on Friday after Italy's Enel said it might be interested in buying part of the company.

Unified Energy System, or UES, may sell stakes in its subsidiaries, including some of its 51 percent of Mosenergo, as UES is broken up and the industry is reorganized, Enel chief executive Fulvio Conti said in Rome last Thursday.

"Russia represents a new frontier," Conti said at a news conference after a presentation of first-half earnings. "There will be a possibility to privatize generation companies before 2006, and Mosenergo could be one of the first. We are interested and will follow this closely. Nothing has been agreed." (Bloomberg)

No Svyazinvest Go-Ahead?

The Russian government has not yet approved the privatization of state telecoms holding Svyazinvest, a minister said on Friday, contradicting earlier media reports.

Telecoms stocks -- particularly Svyazinvest's long-distance unit Rostelekom -- have rallied on hopes the Russian government would approve the plan to sell a 75 percent stake and submit it for President Vladimir Putin's signature.

But IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman dismissed news agency reports on Thursday quoting government sources saying that the government had rubber-stamped the deal. (Reuters)


VSMPO-Avisma, the world's top titanium products maker, said on Friday that it had mandated two international banks to help it organize an initial public offering abroad in 2006.

Chairman Vyacheslav Bresht, addressing reporters in a conference call, said it was "an absolute must" for the company to list shares abroad and called the banks' appointment "the first real step" toward the IPO.

The company had said before it wanted to list shares abroad at some point in the first half of 2006, thereby joining a host of major Russian metal firms already traded on international stock exchanges. (Reuters)

AFK Sistema Eyeing India

AFK Sistema is in talks to buy Indian cellular company Reliance Telecom, India's Economic Times reported, citing industry people familiar with the negotiations.

Sistema chairman Evgeny Novitsky made an offer to the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, which controls Reliance Telecom, during a trip to Mumbai this week, the Economic Times said. An Anil Dhirubhai spokesman declined to comment, the Indian publication said.

Reliance Telecom has 1.5 million subscribers in eastern and central India and may be worth nearly $1 billion, the report said. (Bloomberg)

Austria CEO Eyes CIS

VIENNA -- Telekom Austria is gathering information on former Soviet states such as Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, markets that are "thoroughly interesting," its chief executive was quoted as saying on Friday.

Those countries "are constantly moving closer to us and are therefore also thoroughly interesting," Sundt was quoted by Austria's APA news agency as saying.

"We are also gathering information on developments there," he added, without specifying any plans in those countries. (Reuters)

Dynamo Kiev's Share Sale

KIEV -- A Kiev court has ruled that shares in Dynamo Kiev were illegally sold to a Russian-based company.

Thursday's ruling by the Obolonsky court was a victory for Oleksandr Zgursky, who holds a 10.98 percent stake in the team and who sued this summer over a 2001 deal between Dynamo and Pacific International Sports Club. Zgursky, a former Kiev mayor, is linked to current Dynamo president Ihor Surkis, who is fighting to maintain control over the 11-time Ukrainian champion. (AP)

Russia Threatens Meat Ban

Russia may stop meat being shipped into the country via Lithuania because some of it could be coming from origins on a banned list due to health and safety fears, a top veterinary official said on Friday.

"It is highly probable that from Monday we will restrict imports of animal origin products that are transhipped through Lithuania to Russia from the European Union and third countries," Sergei Dankvert, chief animal and plant inspector said.

Dankvert said 1,998 tons of Chinese pork plus 1,263 tons of U.S. beef liver and 190 tons from Canada had been shipped to Russia via Lithuania since the start of the year. The meat was originally accompanied by documents showing the final destinations as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. (Reuters)