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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Raiffeisen to Grow to 5%

KIEV -- Austria's Raiffeisen International expects to double its market share in Russia to 5 percent over the next five years after speeding up growth with the purchase of Impeksbank this year, it said Friday.

The bank, active in 16 countries throughout the former Soviet bloc, expects to grow faster than rivals in Russia by focusing on retail banking for the rising affluent part of the society and on small companies, its chief executive said. (Reuters)

VTB Plans New Unit

Vneshtorgbank will this week unveil plans for an investment banking arm based on its Moscow Narodny Bank unit in London, a top bank official said.

"Our plan is to have a big investment banking presence in London, and we will reveal our plans on Oct. 21," bank senior vice president Vasily Titov said Friday. "This bank will act as a bridge between international markets and Russia's financial market," he said. (Reuters)

Nuclear Assets Pooled

Russia and Kazakhstan agreed late last week to set up three joint ventures in atomic energy, pooling assets worth as much as $10 billion in preparation for a global resurgence in nuclear power.

Kazakhstan will become Russia's first partner in a nuclear reprocessing center planned for Angarsk through an enrichment joint venture. In return, Russia will gain access to a Kazakh deposit with 250,000 tons of uranium.

"The total value of assets in the three joint ventures could reach $10 billion in the next few years," Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said in Aktau. (Bloomberg)

UES to Boost Imports

Unified Energy System will boost electricity imports and cut exports to neighbors such as Finland during the winter season to avoid blackouts.

UES will "minimize exports and maximize imports" to meet domestic demand, company chief Anatoly Chubais said Friday.

The utility is deciding on amounts, he said. Chubais did not say which countries would get less power. (Bloomberg)

Power Networks Integrated

Russia and Kazakhstan have integrated their power networks and are close to forming a common market for electricity, Unified Energy System chief Anatoly Chubais said Friday.

Chubais said Russia wanted to reconnect the Soviet power grid and form a common market with the rest of the former republics. (Bloomberg)

VimpelCom in Chechnya

VimpelCom will build a cellular network in Chechnya in about six months, Kommersant reported Friday.

MegaFon is the sole cellular provider in the region, covering 80 percent of Chechnya. It has 300,000 subscribers, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Borrows $1.5Bln

Sberbank has increased to $1.5 billion the amount it is borrowing from a group of foreign banks at a record-low interest rate for a Russian company, Interfax reported Friday.

The three-year unsecured loan, 30 basis points over the London interbank borrowing rate, is $500 million more than planned. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

PKN Orlen, Poland's largest oil company, is "fully determined" to complete its purchase of Lithuania's Mazeikiu Nafta and may seek a lower price depending on the extent of losses from a fire at the refiner. (Bloomberg)

The Moscow Olympic Lottery, in which Greece's Intralot and Malaysia's Tanjong have a 49 percent joint stake, said draws had been suspended, without giving a reason. (Bloomberg)

Prosecutors confirmed Friday that they had issued an international arrest warrant for Leonid Rozhetskin, a businessman involved in the sale of one-quarter of MegaFon. (Reuters)

Ukraine may agree this month on the cost of importing natural gas from Russia in 2007, gas trader RosUkrEnergo said Thursday, preventing the repetition of a price dispute that interrupted supplies in January. (Bloomberg)

The oil stabilization fund may more than double to $93.3 billion this year, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said in Beijing on Friday. (Bloomberg)

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Friday that investment in fixed assets would more than double to $264.99 billion by 2009 as economic growth, which has averaged 6.9 percent over the past five years, accelerates. (Bloomberg)

Pyatyorochka said Friday that it agreed to pay $200 million in cash and assumed debt for the 16-store Merkado chain in Moscow as part of a plan to add 170 outlets this year. (Bloomberg)

Metals magnate Oleg Deripaska has bought a 25 percent to 30 percent stake in Moscow-based media group Expert and may help it start a television network, Vedomosti reported Friday. (Bloomberg)

China has bought eight S-300 systems made by missile maker Almaz-Antei for $1 billion, increasing its arsenal to 28, Vedomosti reported Friday. (Bloomberg)

AFK Sistema's minority investors want to sell a 2 percent stake at $1,200 per share, a 10 percent discount to the current market price, and have hired Credit Suisse Group to find a buyer, Vedomosti said Friday. (Bloomberg)

Valentino Fashion Group SpA plans to open a store in Moscow next year, Vedomosti reported Friday. (Bloomberg)