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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

EU-Russian Energy Treaty

BRUSSELS -- The European Union should seek an energy treaty with Russia as part its drive to forge a common policy on oil, gas and electricity, according to a draft policy paper prepared by the bloc's executive arm.

The latest version of the European Commission's green paper on energy, obtained by Reuters on Thursday, also suggests an international treaty on energy efficiency and new gas pipelines to the Caspian region and north Africa.

"A common approach is particularly important with regard to Russia. … Work should start toward an EU-Russia Energy treaty," said the paper, which can still be modified before the full 25-member EU executive adopts it Wednesday. (Reuters)

February Oil Output Up

Russin oil output rose to 9.46 million barrels per day in February, 30,000 bpd higher than in January, but still down 190,000 bpd on the record volumes reached in December, Industry and Energy Ministry data showed Thursday.

Production in the world's second-largest oil exporter has been curbed by extreme cold over the past two months, and analysts say the decline might hamper the government's modest plan to boost production by 2 to 3 percent in 2006. (Reuters)

Rosneft Share Sale

Sberbank, the country's biggest lender, will lead a group of Russian banks in organizing a sale of Rosneft shares in an initial public offering later this year, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified banker.

Interfax did not identify any other banks in the report. The shares will be offered to investors in Russia and abroad, the news service said.

State-owned Rosneft is planning a $20 billion IPO later this year, the world's largest offering. (Bloomberg)

Sibir Shares Rise 10%

LONDON -- Shares of Sibir Energy, a British-based oil company operating in Russia, rose as much as 10 percent after the company said it started talks with Gazprom on the ownership of an oil field and the management of a Moscow refinery.

Sibir shares rose as much as 49.75 pence to a record 550 pence ($9.63) in London, according to Bloomberg data.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who is chairman of Moscow Oil & Gas, met Gazprom chief executive officer Alexei Miller on Monday, Sibir said Thursday in a statement.

The purpose was to talk about recovery of investments by Sibir and its affiliated companies in the Sibneft Yugra joint venture and operation of the Moscow refinery. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Earnings Increase

Polyus, the gold unit of Norilsk Nickel, increased earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization by 9.3 percent in 2005, Interfax said Thursday, citing Polyus chief executive Yevgeny Ivanov.

Polyus' EBITDA rose to $199 million last year from $182 million in 2004, Interfax said, citing Ivanov at a conference in Tampa, Florida.

Revenue rose in 2005 to $462 million from $441.7 million based on international accounting standards, the newswire reported.

The company will have cash of $645 million after it is spun off this week from Norilsk Nickel, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk Sells Gold Fields

Norilsk Nickel is selling its 13.3 billion-rand ($2.1 billion) stake in Gold Fields, the world's fourth-largest gold producer.Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are managing the sale of 98.5 million shares in Gold Fields, Goldman Sachs said in a statement Thursday.

Dmitry Usanov, head of investor relations at Norilsk, declined to comment on the sale. Gold Fields spokesman Willie Jacobsz and financial director Nick Holland were not immediately available for comment. (Bloomberg)

Steel Tube Firm Plans IPO

Inprom, a trader of steel tubes, said it planned to raise as much as $70 million in an initial public offering this year.

The company, based in Taganrog, in southern Russia, will sell shares in Moscow in October or November, chief financial officer Alexander Larionov said in an interview at a conference in Moscow on Thursday. The shares may trade on the MICEX or the RTS, or both, he said.

Inprom, which started selling steel products to Russian customers in 1996, wants to raise $60 million to $70 million, Larionov said. (Bloomberg)

Brazil Ban Stays for Now

Russia sees no possibility of scrapping before the middle of June a ban on Brazilian beef and pork imports imposed after a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, Russia's chief animal and plant official said Thursday.

"The lifting of the ban will be considered, in accordance with international veterinary standards, no earlier than six months after it was imposed," Sergei Dankvert said.

He added that all attempts by Brazilian officials to persuade Russia to end the ban early would fail.

Russia has been Brazil's main beef and pork market, with purchases worth $900 million from January to August 2005.The Russian ban took effect Dec. 13, 2005. (Reuters)

36.6 Buys Pharmacy Chain

Health and beauty store chain 36.6 said Thursday that it had acquired Pharmacom, a pharmacy chain in Siberia, for an undisclosed sum.

"Acquisition of Pharmacom added to the 36.6 pharmacy chain 13 pharmacies located in Omsk," 36.6 said.

"Pharmacom is one of the largest pharmacy chains in the city. The average footprint of the acquired pharmacy is about 74 square meters."

In December, 36.6 sold a 20 percent stake in its pharmaceutical-producing subsidiary Veropharm to invest in the development of its network and pay off debt. (Reuters)

Telenor Representative Quits

Goran Olson, Telenor's country manager for Russia, has quit the company, and Kjell Morten Johnsen has been appointed chairman of the Telenor Russia board, a Telenor official said Thursday.

The switch comes as Telenor is locked in a strategy dispute with Alfa Group. The two are shareholders in VimpelCom, which has bid $5 billion to take over Ukraine's mobile market leader, Kyivstar.

"We have undergone structural changes, not only here, but in Oslo as well," spokeswoman Nelly Meshcheryakova said. Johnsen has good knowledge of Russia, as he is a board member of Golden Telecom. (Reuters)

Wimm-Bill-Dann CEO

The chief executive officer of Wimm-Bill-Dann, Sergei Plastinin, plans to quit so he can manage its main shareholders' noncore assets, the dairy and juice producer said Thursday.

"The idea is that Wimm-Bill-Dann's shareholders have too many miscellaneous assets. They want to unite them, and he will manage the holding. But he will wait for a new CEO to start working," said Marina Kagan, the company's head of investor relations. (Reuters)