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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Sberbank Leads Stocks Push

Stocks including Sberbank rose Tuesday, as the country's biggest lender gained after Germany's Commerzbank bought into Promsvyazbank.

The dollar-denominated Russian Trading System index was little changed, adding 0.76, or less than 0.1 percent, to close at 1,643.93. The ruble-priced MICEX also closed little changed, down 0.08, or less than 0.1 percent, at 1,450.50. Sberbank shares jumped 4.6 percent to an all-time high of $2,175. (Bloomberg)

Commerzbank Taps Market

FRANKFURT -- Commerzbank, Germany's second-biggest bank, agreed to buy a 15.3 percent stake in Promsvyazbank to tap Russia's growing lending market.

The bank, which is purchasing the stake for an undisclosed price as part of a capital increase planned for as early as next month, may raise its holding further in Promsvyazbank, Commerzbank said. Promsvyazbank is the country's No. 14 bank by assets. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Execs Buy Millions

Rosneft chief executive officer Sergei Bogdanchikov and seven other executives or board members spent $12.2 million to buy 0.018 percent of the oil company at its initial public offering, Vedomosti reported.

Bogdanchikov bought shares worth $920,000 at the July 14 public sale, the newspaper reported, citing a company announcement. Barclays Capital chairman Hans-J?rg Rudloff, an independent Rosneft board director, bought $5 million in shares, the most of any Rosneft official, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

MTS Appoints Russia Head

Mobile TeleSystems, Eastern Europe's biggest mobile phone company, appointed Mikhail Shamolin as vice president in charge of its Russian unit.

Shamolin was previously in charge of sales and customer service, the company said Tuesday.

MTS's board on Aug. 14 approved a new structure that will have three units, in charge of Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics. (Bloomberg)

Lithuania Warned on Repair

Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov warned Lithuania carrying out repairs on a railway line taking Russian cargo to Kaliningrad could harm relations between the countries, Interfax said.

Titov said some Lithuanian officials were hinting at "political" repairs to the line after Russia cut crude supplies to Lithuania following the closure of an oil pipeline because of a leak, Interfax said, citing an interview. (Bloomberg)

Oil Duties Could Hit Highs

The government could raise export duties for crude oil and oil products to record highs in October, after fuel prices reached all-time highs this quarter.

The crude duty may jump to $239 per ton ($32.61 per barrel), from $216.40 per ton, starting Oct. 1, Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the Finance Ministry's customs department, said by telephone Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil's Kazakh Projections

LUKoil will pump 53.3 million barrels of oil equivalents in Kazakhstan this year, Interfax reported, citing a company spokesman.

LUKoil's investments in its Kazakh project are expected to be $413 million, the news agency said Tuesday, citing Erkanat Abeni, a LUKoil spokesman who spoke to reporters in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Bloomberg)

RusAl to Complete Buyout

Russian Aluminium, which makes one-eighth of the world's aluminum, said it would complete the buyout of minority shareholders in its Russian operations by the end of the year.

The buyout covers the Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter, Bratsk Aluminium Smelter, Novokuznetsk Aluminium Smelter, Sayanogorsk Aluminium Smelter, Achinsk Alumina Refinery, Boksitogorsk Alumina Refinery and the All-Russia Aluminium and Magnesium Institute, the company said in a press release Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Accident Won't Slow Norilsk

Norilsk Nickel, the country's biggest mining company, said an accident that closed a mine shaft Aug. 27 would not stop it from meeting output targets for the year.

The northern shaft of the Komsomolsky nickel and copper mine will be closed for about three weeks, Norilsk spokesman Victor Borodin said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg)

Polimetall Wins License

Polimetall, the country's biggest silver producer and second-biggest gold producer, received a license to explore silver reserves at the Dukat deposit in Magadan in the Far East.

The exploration license for part of Dukat, the country's biggest silver deposit, with reserves of an estimated 1,900 tons, runs to July 18, 2011, Polymetal said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The company was the sole applicant for the license and did not say what price it paid. (Bloomberg)

Sugar Maker May Go Public

Sugar producer Prodimeks may sell shares to the public next year, Vedomosti reported, citing chairman Igor Khudokormov.

No size for the possible initial public offering was given, the newspaper reported.

Prodimeks has 15 plants and produces 15 percent of the country's sugar, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

Atomic Agency Mulls Fund

The Federal Atomic Energy Agency is considering setting up a $300 million to $400 million venture fund to invest in projects in electricity and other areas. The fund, which could be launched by year's end, will finance innovation in electric power generation, electronics and water-supply systems, a person familiar with the plans said Tuesday.

While its structure has yet to be finalized, the fund will likely seek to finance projects together with private investors on a 50-50 basis. As an alternative, the fund may come under the aegis of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry's venture fund that is to finance major infrastructure projects, the source said. (MT)

Drugmaker Income Up 28%

Veropharm, a drugmaker that specializes in medicines to treat cancer, said first-half net income rose 28 percent to $7.5 million on better sales of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Sales rose 34 percent to $45.2 million, compared with the same period a year earlier, the company said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. The results were calculated according to International Accounting Standards. (Bloomberg)

Razgulyai Profit Advances

Grain and sugar producer Razgulyai, which sold shares to the public in March, said profit advanced 6.7 percent last year as it sold more cereals. The company's stock rose.

Net income climbed to 1.4 billion rubles ($52 million) from 1.29 billion rubles in 2004, the company said on its web site Tuesday. (Bloomberg)