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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Reserves Hit Record

The country's foreign currency and gold reserves rose for a 17th consecutive week to a record $204.1 billion on revenue from oil and gas exports.

This is the longest series of weekly gains since at least June 1998, according to Bloomberg data.

The reserves as of March 17 added $2.4 billion in the week, the Central Bank said in a statement Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Yukos Loses $3Bln in Notes

Yukos said Thursday that promissory notes worth over $3 billion had gone missing and may have been stolen from a defunct trading subsidiary whose former general manager is the subject of a criminal lawsuit.

The news appears to nudge what was once Russia's largest oil producer closer to the abyss and could add further weight to a bankruptcy suit filed by Yukos' creditors that is due to be heard Tuesday.

The notes "may have been sold, at a reduced rate, to external parties," the statement said. (AP)

UES to Sell Stake

Unified Energy Systems on Thursday announced it plans to sell a 9.9 percent stake in its Inter RAO unit, the country's electricity exporter and importer.

UES said in a statement on its web site that it was inviting bids until March 29 in a tender to value the stake in Inter RAO.

The unit is 60 percent owned by UES and 40 percent owned by Rosenergoatom. (Reuters)

WTO Talks Slow

Talks on Thursday between Russia and World Trade Organization member states made little progress on removing obstacles to Russia's accession, a senior WTO diplomat said.

"Unfortunately, we have not been making the progress that all of us would like," said former Icelandic Ambassador to the WTO Stefan Johannesson, who chaired the talks. (Reuters)

MMK 2005 Profit Down

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, or MMK, posted an 11 percent decline in 2005 profit, Interfax reported Thursday, citing the company.

Net income fell to 29.8 billion rubles ($1.1 billion), from 33.4 billion rubles in 2004, Interfax said, citing a financial report that will be presented to investors at the company's annual meeting.

The company said profit was hurt by declining steel prices and an increase in iron-ore costs, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Comstar Adds Subscribers

Comstar United Telesystems has added clients for its broadband Internet and corporate fixed-line phone services.

Comstar UTS, a unit of Sistema, had more than 444,000 residential subscribers as of Dec. 31, the company said Thursday in a statement.

The number of broadband subscribers increased 143 percent to 249,542, while the number of dial-up users fell 47 percent to 182,350.

The company's corporate client base for alternative fixed-line telecommunications grew to more than 31,170 subscribers, from 27,258. (Bloomberg)

Crackdown on Bad Liquor

The Federal Consumer Protection Service has directed its regional departments to crack down on the trade of unsafe liquor, Interfax reported Thursday.

Russia imports 50 million liters of alcoholic products each month. "Grape wines and cognacs, which enter Russia from countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as from Chile and Argentina, often do not meet safety standards," according to the service, the news agency said.

Last year, the federal service uncovered 1.337 million liters of domestic and imported alcoholic products that were deemed unfit for consumption. (MT)

For the Record

Aeroflot said Thursday that it would sign a deal with Boeing in March or April for the delivery of six cargo planes. (Reuters)

AvtoVAZ is willing to spend about $300 million on Tritec Motors, an engine plant owned jointly by DaimlerChrysler and BMW, Interfax reported Thursday, citing an unidentified source. (MT)

Israel plans to sign an agreement within six months to buy natural gas from Russia that will be shipped via a pipeline through Turkey, the Haaretz newspaper said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Schlumberger said it expected revenue from Russia to exceed $1 billion this year as it worked to build an employee training facility there. (Bloomberg)

Kazakhstan will encourage six metals and mining firms to unite for an initial public offering to build on the success of copper firm Kazakhmys' London IPO last year, the government said Thursday. (Reuters)