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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Sibir Wins Refinery Case

British-based Sibir Energy said Tuesday that it had won a dispute with Gazprom Neft and Tatneft over control of the Moscow region's sole refinery.

The Supreme Arbitration Court upheld lower-court decisions that gave Moscow Oil & Gas control of the refinery, Sibir said in an e-mail. Sibir owns 45 percent of Moscow Oil & Gas.

"The decision of the Supreme Arbitrage Court is final and cannot be appealed,'' Sibir said. (Bloomberg)

New Ukraine Gas Hike?

Natural-gas export monopoly Gazprom said Ukraine could expect to pay as much as 68 percent more for its gas by 2007, less than a year after the company interrupted supplies in a price dispute.

Ukraine, which pays $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas delivered through Russian pipelines, will pay between $150 and $160 by 2007, Gazprom chief executive officer Alexander Ryazanov told reporters in Moscow Tuesday.

Gazprom, which is cutting subsidies for all former Soviet republics, briefly cut off gas to Ukraine in January to enforce a price rise of almost 100 percent. Countries like Belarus, Georgia and Moldova will pay an average of $115 per 1,000 cubic meters this year, Ryazanov said, and can expect a price "close to $180'' in 2007. (Bloomberg)

No Panrusgaz Stake

Gazprom has not approved E.On's purchase from Mol of a 50 percent stake in Panrusgaz, a joint venture of Gazprom and Mol for trading natural gas, Interfax reported, citing a company executive.

The gas giant did not approve the sale because it holds a "priority right'' for Mol's stake in the gas venture, Interfax said, citing Gazprom deputy chief executive officer Alexander Medvedev.

The Panrusgaz stake, however, might be included in the assets E.On is offering to swap for a stake in Gazprom's Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field, Interfax said, citing Medvedev. E.On offered Hungarian assets, including gas and power holdings, to Gazprom for a holding in the field, Interfax said, citing Medvedev. (Bloomberg)

Oil Firm Alliance Plans IPO

Mid-sized oil firm Alliance, the key asset of diversified firm Group Alliance, plans to go public in Russia and abroad within one year, Interfax quoted an executive as saying Tuesday.

Interfax quoted Group Alliance head Musa Bazhayev as saying the company would float its shares on a Russian bourse and abroad, "most likely in Britain." He did not give other details.

Alliance reported revenues of $1.45 billion in 2005, up 12 percent year-on-year. It controls two refineries -- Khabarovsk in the Far East and Kherson in Ukraine, which process around 4.0 million tons of crude oil a year. The company also owns a number of other oil assets, including gas stations in Russia and Kazakhstan. (Reuters)

Putin Urges More R&D

President Vladimir Putin said Russia had to stimulate private investment in research and development to overcome a "technology gap'' with other nations, including China.

Companies account for about 6 percent of research and development, compared with around 60 percent in the United States and Europe, Putin said.

Russia's high-technology industry, which uses equipment that has been in use for an average of 20 years, "is far from splendid," he told the Security Council during a meeting in the Kremlin today.

There must be "economic stimuli, which could activate the participation of businessmen in the technological modernization" of the economy, Putin said. (Bloomberg)

IBM Lab to Expand

International Business Machines, the world's largest provider of computer services, plans to expand a new Moscow research lab set up to develop mainframe technology and software for enterprises and scientific computing.

The company will invest $40 million in the Moscow lab in the next three years, Rod Adkins, vice president of worldwide development at IBM's systems and technology group, said at the opening of the center in Moscow om Tuesday. The facility will initially have 40 employees, reaching 100 by the end of this year and 200 people by the end of 2008. (Bloomberg)

Magnitogorsk Share Offer

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel, the country's third-largest steel company, will make a private placement of up to 2 percent of shares on the domestic market, the company's vice president Vladimir Shmakov said Tuesday.

A banking source said the placement would be partly organized by Gazprombank and take place next week. Less than 1 percent of Magnitorgorsk shares are available to investors at present. The steelmaker hopes to follow the placement with an initial public offering in London in 2007 or 2008, the source said. (MT)