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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

TNK-BP Seeks $1Bln

TNK-BP is talking to banks about borrowing around $1 billion and may sell bonds next year, the venture's chief financial officer said.

TNK-BP would ask shareholders to consider whether to change the company's dividend policy at an extraordinary meeting slated for next month, chief financial officer James Owen said Tuesday. TNK-BP, which is proposing a nine-month dividend of about $3.6 billion, will set a final payout for the whole of 2006 before next year's annual general meeting. (Bloomberg)

VTB Europe Confirmed

Vneshtorgbank confirmed Tuesday that it would set up an investment banking operation in London based on its subsidiary, Moscow Narodny Bank, by the end of next year.

VTB chief executive Andrei Kostin said the investment banking operation would be set up by transferring Vneshtorgbank's European units into a subsidiary called VTB Europe.

Also on Tuesday, Standard & Poor's upgraded the credit rating of VTB and VTB 24, its retail subsidiary, to BBB+, the same as the Russian state's foreign currency sovereign rating. The agency cited VTB's "close government links." (Reuters, MT)

Sistema Buys Own Shares

Sistema said Tuesday that it had bought 2 percent of its shares for $239 million for a stock-option program for managers and future acquisitions.

Sistema Finance Investments bought 193,000 common shares. That suggests the company paid $1,238 per share, less than the $1,295 per share the company said Oct. 20 was the maximum it would pay. (Bloomberg)

Railroad May Lose $6Bln

Russian Railways may lose its freight unit and with it about $6 billion in planned revenue through 2009 in a possible split-up of the company, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

The head of the Federal Railway Agency, Igor Romashov, wants to end the national train company's rail-cargo monopoly by creating a separate state company based on Russian Railways' freight assets.

Romashov also wants to allow independent operators to run trains to reduce costs. (Bloomberg)

GSM Lines Put on Hold

The State Commission on Radio Frequencies said Tuesday that it had delayed a decision on the availability of new frequencies in the regions that could be used for GSM wireless services by companies such as VimpelCom.

The agency will in January decide whether frequencies for the global system for mobile communications 900 and 1800 standards will be available. (Bloomberg)

Lenta Hypermarket Opens

Retail giant Lenta opened a new hypermarket on Tuesday in Novosibirsk and plans to open another in Astrakhan next week in a $160 million expansion, the company said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

The two new stores are Lenta's first outside the St. Petersburg area, where it has 11 stores. (MT)

Norway Fish Sales Intact

OSLO -- Norwegian fisheries companies Leroy Seafood and Pan Fish said Tuesday that their exports to Russia were proceeding normally, contradicting a report that said Russia had imposed new import restrictions on them.

The Norwegian fisheries industry paper Fiskaren said in its online edition that Russian veterinary authorities imposed new import restrictions, effectively halting all Norwegian fish exports to Russia a month after a ban was lifted. (Reuters)

Norilsk Nickel Shows 'Love'

Norilsk Nickel refuted a report by the U.S.-based Blacksmith Institute that said its home city was one of the world's most polluted.

The company is spending $1.25 billion on modernizing equipment and production methods to reduce emissions in the city of Norilsk through 2015, it said Tuesday. The investment shows its "love" for the city and respect for its people, it said. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov proposed Germany's Siemens explore and develop oil and gas deposits in the Caspian Sea under a production sharing agreement, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing the president's press service. (Bloomberg)

Kazakhstan plans longer jail sentences of seven to 15 years for corrupt officials, Interfax reported Tuesday, (Bloomberg)

Itera named former Sibneft manager Alexander Korsik as its president. Korsik started last week. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom may boost sales to the sole distributor of the fuel in Tbilisi, Georgia, by 8 percent next year to help it meet surging demand. (Bloomberg)