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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Currency Reserves Rise



The country's foreign currency and gold reserves rose to a record $188.2 billion as revenue increased from oil exports.

The reserves added $3 billion in the week ending Jan. 27, the Central Bank said on its web site on Thursday. Russia's reserves surged 46 percent, or about $58 billion, in 2005. (Bloomberg)




January Oil Output



Russia said crude output and exports fell in January from December.

January oil output fell 2.3 percent to 39.89 million tons, or 9.43 million barrels per day, according to data from CDU TEK, the Industry and Energy Ministry's dispatch center.

Exports to countries outside the CIS dropped 5.8 percent to 4.3 million barrels per day. (Bloomberg)




Centrica Misunderstanding



Gazprom said on Thursday that comments by its deputy general director, Alexander Shkuta, that it might bid for Britain's Centrica had been misinterpreted, Interfax reported.

"The words of Alexander Shkuta were misinterpreted. His answer was not about Centrica. He was talking about any possible energy asset in Britain," Interfax quoted a company spokesman as saying.

"At the moment Gazprom is studying the possibility of expanding into the British energy market. We are looking at all possible options. But no statements concerning Centrica have been made by representatives of [Gazprom export arm] Gazexport."

Interfax earlier quoted Shkuta as telling a conference call with analysts that the firm was considering buying the British utility, but no decision had yet been made, which sent Centrica's shares soaring. (Reuters)




Additional Gazprom ADRs



Gas giant Gazprom said on Thursday that it expected to issue additional American Depositary Receipts in the first half of the year, a move that will boost liquidity following the end-2005 removal of foreign investor curbs on its shares.

Peter Bakayev, head of Gazprom's capital markets division, told a teleconference with analysts that the company was doing all it could to speed up the process. "Everything is going according to plan," he said.

Gazprom last week received approval from Russia's market regulator to issue additional ADRs to a maximum limit of 35 percent of its shares, below a 40 percent quota request from the company. (Reuters)




Yukos Court Decision



AMSTERDAM -- A Dutch appeals court upheld a decision on Thursday to allow Yukos to sell international assets controlled by its Dutch subsidiaries, the court said.

The ruling by Amsterdam's appeals court paves the way for Yukos to go ahead with the planned sale of its 53.7 percent stake in Lithuanian refiner Mazeikiu Nafta.

The higher court said in a statement that it had rejected an appeal by Yuganskneftegaz, the production unit of state-owned Rosneft, against a Nov. 24 ruling by an Amsterdam district court allowing the assets sale. (Reuters)




Neftyanoi Credit Sale



Bank Neftyanoi, a Russian bank at the center of a money-laundering investigation, has sold some of its credit portfolio to stay liquid after some clients withdrew their deposits, Vedomosti reported on Thursday.

Confidence in the bank has weakened since December, when prosecutors searched the bank and found evidence of money laundering and illegal banking operations, the paper said.

Bank Neftyanoi was ranked 147th by assets in Russia at mid-2005, with assets of 5.6 billion rubles ($199 million) and shareholders equity of 1.7 billion rubles ($60 million), the Interfax economic research center said. (Reuters)




Tatneft Refinery Project



LONDON -- Oil producer Tatneft has transferred $493 million of its treasury shares to an offshore fund based in Jersey to help pay for building a new oil refinery in Russia.

Tatneft became a participant in International Petro-Chemical Growth Fund by transferring 116 million Tatneft shares to the fund, the oil producer said Thursday in a statement. MARS Capital Management manages the fund.

Tatneft shares closed $4.25 on Thursday in Moscow.

"The fund will become a co-investor in the project to build an oil refining and petrochemical plant complex in Nizhnekamsk," Tatneft said. Tatneft already holds directly 40 percent in the refinery project. (Bloomberg)




Urals Energy Output



London-listed Urals Energy raised its output forecast for next year after boosting extraction 47 percent in the second half of last year.

Urals Energy pumped 6,263 barrels of oil per day in the second half of 2005, up from 4,272 bpd in the first half, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The company more than replaced its reserves last year.

The company raised its 2007 production forecast by one-third to 14,000 bpd, less than 0.5 percent of the oil produced in Russia. (Bloomberg)




$2Bln Rosneft Loan



ABN Amro and Barclays have agreed to arrange a $2 billion loan for Rosneft, Interfax said Thursday, citing unidentified people in the banking industry.

The five-year loan will be backed by oil exports, the news agency said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the transaction.

Syndication of the deal to a wider group of lenders will start this month, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)




Bird Flu Prevention



Russia will spend about $46 million to fund new measures to stop the spread of bird flu, Russian news agencies reported Thursday.

Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov was quoted by RIA-Novosti as saying that the 1.3 billion rubles in funding will go toward developing vaccines against bird flu, vaccinating domestic fowl and more scientific research and training.

It was unclear over how many years the funding would be allocated. (AP)




Iron Ore Exports



Russia increased iron ore exports 4.7 percent to 20.1 million tons in 2005, Interfax reported, citing statistics agency Rudprom.

Iron ore prices rose to a record last year as mining companies failed to expand fast enough to satisfy demand from steelmakers. (Bloomberg)




20th Century Fox in Russia



Twentieth Century Fox will start distributing its films in Russia from April in an attempt to maximize profit in one of the world's 10 largest cinema markets, Kommersant reported, citing unidentified participants in the local industry.

The film studio now distributes its films in Russia through Gemini Films, which will continue to act as Fox's distributor in eastern Russia, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)