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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Reserves Rise to Record

The country's foreign currency and gold reserves, the world's fifth biggest, rose to a record $188.5 billion as revenue increased from oil exports.

The reserves added $0.3 billion in the week ending on Feb. 3, the Central Bank said in an e-mailed statement Thursday. Russia's reserves surged 46 percent, or about $58 billion, in 2005. (Bloomberg)

Stabilization Fund Grows

The stabilization fund, which gathers the country's windfall oil revenues, grew to 1.46 trillion rubles ($51.66 billion) as of Feb. 1, from 1.24 trillion rubles a month earlier, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The fund was set up to cover any budget deficits arising from a possible slump in oil prices. (Reuters)

2006 GDP Forecast Upped

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Thursday that it had raised its 2006 gross domestic product growth forecast to 6.0 percent from 5.8 percent.

A ministry spokesman gave no further details. (Reuters)

New Trading Platforms

Russia's two main stock exchanges, the RTS and the MICEX, are planning to set up trading platforms for small cap companies, Vedomosti reported on Thursday.

The RTS wants to create a separate platform for companies that will not reveal the corporate and financial information, usually required for a stock exchange listing specify, the paper said.

The MICEX, by contrast, will look to provide a space for firms with a capitalization as low as 150 million rubles ($5.3 million), MICEX vice president Gennady Margolit told Vedomosti. (MT)

Detsky Mir to Close

Shopping center Detsky Mir, which is located on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, is to close this year for reconstruction, a spokesman for Sistema, the building's owner, confirmed on Thursday.

Plans for the reconstruction had been delayed as regional authorities confirmed what parts of the building would be given protected status, which they did in January, Sistema spokesman Sergei Filipov said.

Sistema is to invest $50 million into the project, with a further $40 million coming from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Interfax reported earlier in the week, citing Felix Yevtushenkov, head of Sistema-Gals, Sistema's real estate arm. (MT)

Rosneft Buys 3 Licenses

Rosneft bought licenses to explore for oil and gas at three fields close to its Vankor fields, in eastern Siberia.

Rosneft paid 5.3 billion rubles ($187 million) for the fields, the company said Thursday in a statement. The Tukolandsky, Vadinsky and Pendomayakhsky fields in the Krasnoyarsk region may hold 47.3 million tons (347 million barrels) of recoverable oil reserves, the company said.

The company plans to export oil from the fields through an $11.5 billion pipeline, which is being built across eastern Siberia to pump oil to Asian customers, Rosneft said. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Orders Tankers

State oil firm Rosneft has ordered three ice-class tankers which will ship crude oil from its Arctic terminal to European markets, the company said on Thursday.

All three tankers, commissioned in Spain, will be built by 2008 by Factorias Vulkano shipbuilder and have a deadweight of around 27,000 tons each, the firm said. Rosneft did not disclose the sum of the deal. (Reuters)

Repsol, Gazprom in Talks

MADRID -- Oil company Repsol is studying a joint venture with Gazprom to build a liquefied natural gas liquefaction plant.

The talks between Madrid-based Repsol and Gazprom involve other possible projects, Repsol said Thursday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom in Hungary

LONDON -- Gazprom plans to expand in Hungary and is examining plans to build new pipelines and to buy power generators and petrochemical makers.

Gazprom chief executive officer Alexei Miller met Hungary's finance and economics ministers Wednesday to discuss Gazprom's "possible participation in expansion and joint operation of existing Hungarian underground gas storages together with construction of new" storage sites to meet domestic and export demand, Gazprom said. (Bloomberg)

S&P Raises Severstal Rating

Standard & Poor's raised its rating on Severstal to positive from stable after the company said it plans to issue new shares and swap them for stakes in coal producers.

"The outlook revision reflects the fact that Severstal's business profile would benefit from vertical integration into coal and iron ore, which will help to mitigate swings in raw material prices and bolster the company's profitability," Standard & Poor's said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Urals Mining Output

SEROV, Sverdlovsk Region -- Russia's No. 2 copper and zinc producer, Urals Mining and Metals Co. said on Thursday that it expected to keep output of the metal this year at 2005 levels, when it produced 352,671 tons of copper and 89,914 tons of zinc.

UMMC general director Andrei Kozitsin said the company intended to raise output of zinc concentrate by 10 percent this year from 2005 volumes.

He did not provide tonnages, nor did he say how the surplus will be used. (Reuters)

Comstar on MSCI

Comstar United Telesystems will be added to the Morgan Stanley Capital International index in March after holding an initial public offering on Feb. 7.

Comstar UTS raised $1.06 billion in the country's second-biggest initial public offering less than two years after the company was founded. The company sold 146.5 million shares at $7.25 each. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Gazprombank may sell a 2 percent stake in Atomstroiexport, a builder of nuclear plants, to the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, or RosAtom, Vedomosti reported, citing an unidentified source at RosAtom. (Bloomberg)

In 2005, parts and other products made by AvtoVAZ worth more than 1.5 billion rubles ($53 million) were stolen from the Tolyatti-based carmaker, Interfax reported on Thursday citing an unidentified source. The theft was exposed during a local police check, Interfax said. (MT)

MDM Bank plans to appoint Michel Perhirin as its new chief executive next week, Vedomosti reported, citing unidentified bankers. (Bloomberg)

VimpelCom has finalized a $208 million deal to purchase Uzbekistan's second-largest GSM-standard operator, Unitel. (Reuters)