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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Altimo Denies Vodafone Bid

Altimo, Mikhail Fridman's telecommunications unit, declined to comment on a report in Thursday's Times of London newspaper saying it was in talks to buy 20 percent of Britain-based telecoms giant Vodafone.

Altimo vice president Kirill Babayev said by telephone that he could not comment because he had not seen the report. (Bloomberg)

Putin Delays Gas Meeting

President Vladimir Putin has delayed by one week a meeting to discuss increasing domestic gas and electricity prices, Interfax said, citing an unidentified government ministry staff member.

Putin was to meet with the leaders of Gazprom and Unified Energy System, Alexei Miller and Anatoly Chubais, on Friday. One participant could not attend; the meeting will now take place on Nov. 8, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

UES Looking for $11Bln

LONDON -- Unified Energy Systems, the national power utility, is seeking at least $11 billion by selling shares in generating units, about one-eighth of what is needed to upgrade a Soviet-era network that is struggling to meet surging domestic demand.

UES will seek to fund its $83.1 billion investment plan by selling one-third of its electricity output at unregulated prices, CFO Sergei Dubinin said Thursday at a conference in London. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom's Mosenergo Stake

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service will allow Gazprom to take a majority stake in Moscow utility company Mosenergo, Interfax said Thursday, citing Anatoly Golomolzin, the deputy head of the service.

The service has already discussed Gazprom's plan to raise its ownership in Mosenergo, Interfax reported, citing Golomolzin. Gazprom will need anti-monopoly approval to raise its stake in Mosenergo to more than 50 percent from the 30 percent it owns now, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

$12.5Bln Into Sakhalin-2

Shell and its partners in the $22 billion Sakhalin-2 oil and gas venture had invested $12.5 billion by July this year, Deputy Industry and Energy Minister Andrei Dementyev said.

Russia has earned $374.8 million from the Sakhalin-2 project and expects to increase its revenue to $50.1 billion by 2045, Dementyev said Thursday, a statement e-mailed by the ministry's press service said. (Bloomberg)

Retail Taxes Set to Rise

Companies supplying retail chains have to pay higher income tax as of this month, Kommersant reported, citing a ruling by the Finance Ministry.

Producers must include in taxable income payments to retailers for sale and promotion of goods in their stores, the ministry's tax department said in a letter sent to the Federal Tax Service on Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine Will Cut Fuel Prices

KIEV -- The Ukrainian government will cut prices for domestic fuel by at least 11 percent, Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev said. The reduction is the second in as many months.

"We have increased oil imports for domestic fuel production,'' Klyuyev said Thursday. "Besides, the oil price has declined at the world's market, so we will reduce fuel prices within the next ten days.'' (Bloomberg)

Sommer's Deutsche Return?

Sistema may want to oust Klaus Zumwinkel, the supervisory board chairman of Deutsche Telekom, by taking a stake in the German telephone company, the German Die Welt newspaper reported.

Ron Sommer, the former CEO of Deutsche Telekom and a board member at Sistema, would be a likely candidate to replace Zumwinkel. (Bloomberg)

Iran Railroad Building Plans

The government plans to build railroads in Iran and use the rail network of the former Soviet Union to boost bilateral trade amid calls from the United States to impose sanctions on the Islamic republic for its nuclear program.

Vladimir Yakunin, CEO of Russian Railways, will travel to Iran on Nov. 4 to discuss joint projects with Iranian officials, the state-owned company said in an e-mailed statement Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Selling Vodka to India

MUMBAI, India -- United Spirits, a liquor company controlled by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya's UB Group, signed an agreement with Russky Standart to distribute each other's products in their home countries.

United Spirits will import and distribute Russky Standart's vodka in India, while the Indian company's products such as McDowell's No. 1, Black Dog and Black Dog Centenary, will be distributed in Russia by its partner, Mallya said Thursday. (Bloomberg)