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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Antitrust Case Dropped

Antitrust authorities dropped their case against Mobile TeleSystems and VimpelCom, after they rectified a tariff violation. MegaFon is still being targeted.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service started the case after Mobile TeleSystems, VimpelCom and MegaFon were suspected of acting illegally by setting tariffs between themselves at a lower rate than for smaller competitors.

Mobile TeleSystems and VimpelCom eliminated the practice.

MegaFon has yet to comply, the watchdog said. (Bloomberg)

Growth May Slow to 6%

NEW YORK -- Economic growth in Russia will probably slow to 6 percent next year from 6.6 percent this year as the economy remains too dependent on oil, a top government official said Thursday.

"The result of all the attempts to diversify the economy is somewhat different from what we have expected,'' said Mikhail Kopeikin, the Russian government's deputy chief of staff, at an investment conference in New York. "The major idea here is to diversify the economy to speed up the pace of growth.'' (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Licenses Threatened

Rosneft's unit on Sakhalin Island may lose some licenses for damaging the environment, the Natural Resources Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry's environmental inspectorate filed to revoke licenses held by Rosneft-Sakhalinmorneftegaz to develop the Katangli deposit. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Gold Deposit

Polyus Gold acquired the rights to a deposit in the Far East that may hold 100 tons of the precious metal.

Polyus paid $7.5 million for the exploration and development license for the Chai-Yuryinsk deposit in the Magadan region, the company said Thursday.

"The discovery of a large deposit with reserves exceeding 100 tons of hard rock gold is probable," CEO Yevgeny Ivanov said. (Bloomberg)

Senators to Discuss Shell

The Federation Council's natural resources committee will discuss the Royal Dutch Shell-led Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project Friday and call for government actions over the venture.

A spokesman for the Federation Council said Thursday that the text of the address to the government was still being prepared. (Reuters)

Razgulay Poised for Buyback

Razgulay Group may buy back shares if the stock falls below $4, the company's president, Igor Potapenko, said Thursday at a briefing.

Razgulay would buy "as many shares as were offered," if it carries out a buyback. (Bloomberg)

Russia on Schedule for WTO

LONDON -- World Trade Organization director general Pascal Lamy said Russia was on schedule to join the 149-member trade group even though Georgia was opposing its bid, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday, citing an interview.

Still, approval could take time, even if the United States supports Russia's application this month, Lamy said. The United States has been holding out over intellectual property and other issues. (Bloomberg)

Indonesia Buys Russian Subs

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The Indonesian navy will purchase six modern diesel submarines from Russia as part of an upgrading of its aging military arsenal, the state news agency reported Thursday.

The Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Slamet Soebijanto said the military would buy four Kilo-class and two Amur 950, Lada-class, Russian submarines. No financial details were disclosed. (AP)

Oil Minister Forsees Cuts

LONDON -- Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said Thursday that OPEC would "absolutely" cut 1 million barrels per day of oil to stem a fall in prices.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will make the cuts starting Nov. 1. Cuts should come from actual production.

Oil stocks advanced after Naimi made his statement.

The RTS Index rose 0.8 percent to 1638.70. The Micex Index increased 0.5 percent to 1455.07. (Bloomberg)

Oil Export Duty May Drop

The country may lower its oil export duty to between $176 and $181 per ton from Dec. 1 after the price of Urals crude fell, Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the Finance Ministry's customs division, said on Thursday.

The price for Urals over the past two months is not likely to change much over the next nine trading days and will probably average about $55 per barrel, Sakovich said. (Bloomberg)