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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$12Bln for Tourist Program

The government plans to spend 325 billion rubles ($12 billion) on creating seven tourism zones in order to boost the number of foreign visitor.

The number of tourists in these areas "will increase more than three times from 3 million to 9.7 million by 2016,'' Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said in remarks published on his ministry's web site Thursday. The influx of tourists will help create about 155,000 jobs in the next 10 years, Gref said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft Well Fire

A fire broke out at a Siberian oil well run by a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, Gazprom's oil-producing arm, Interfax reported Friday.

Nobody was hurt in the accident Sunday at the Kholmistoye field in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, the news agency reported, citing the Emergency Situations Ministry.

Gazprom Neft was called Sibneft when Gazprom acquired it from billionaire Roman Abramovich for $13.1 billion in 2005. (Bloomberg)

Russia, India Fighter Plan

Russia and India may sign an agreement within months to develop jointly a next-generation jet fighter and a military transport aircraft, Interfax reported Saturday, citing the Defense Ministry's head of international military cooperation, Anatoly Mazurkevich.

The two countries also plan to sign an agreement on the licensed production of the Russian RD-33 engine fitted on MiG-29 fighters during Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's visit to India on Jan. 22, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

ONGC Offers Sokol Crude

SINGAPORE -- ONGC Videsh, the overseas unit of India's state-run explorer, offered to sell 700,000 barrels of Sokol crude oil from the Sakhalin-1 project for loading in March, the company said in an offer document on Friday.

ONGC Videsh, a wholly owned unit of Oil & Natural Gas Corp., offered to load the crude at the DeKastri Terminal in the Far East between March 18 and 21. Bids must be submitted by Jan. 23, and these must remain valid until 8 p.m. on Jan. 24, ONGC said. (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Insurance Approval

LONDON -- Kazkommertsbank, Kazakhstan's biggest bank by assets, received regulatory approval to sell life insurance in the country.

Kazkommerts Life, the bank's new insurance unit, received a license from the Agency for Financial Markets Supervision to offer insurance in the former Soviet republic, Kazkommertsbank said Friday. Kazkommerts Life will seek about 12 percent of the insurance market, the bank said.

The lender raised $846 million in November in a London stock sale, the first by a Kazakh bank. (Bloomberg)

GAZ Plans 2007 Share Sale

GAZ, a maker of cars and trucks, will be ready to sell new shares on its home market in the fourth quarter of 2007, Interfax reported Friday, citing CEO Erik Eberhardson.

GAZ will be able to list on foreign exchange next year, Eberhardson told reporters in Nizhny Novgorod, where the carmaker is based. A final decision whether to sell the shares hasn't yet been made, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

MTS Requests Arbitration

Mobile TeleSystems, the country's largest mobile phone company, received a request for arbitration over a disputed minority stake in Kyrgyz wireless operator Bitel.

Nomihold Securities asked Mobile TeleSystems subsidiary MTS Finance to form an arbitration tribunal, MTS said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday. Nomihold wants MTS to exercise an option to buy its 49 percent stake in a company that controls Bitel, the filing said. (Bloomberg)

Duty on Crude to Be Cut

The country will lower its export duty on crude by $1 to $179.70 per ton ($24.52 per barrel) from Feb. 1, tracking a decline in world oil prices.

The export tax on high-grade oil products, including gasoline, propane, kerosene and diesel, will sink to $133.40 per ton from $134, the government said Friday in a statement published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the official state newspaper.

Shipments abroad of low-grade fuels, such as fuel oil, will attract duties of $71.80 per ton, down from $72.20. (Bloomberg)

Lebedev Eyes Airlines-400

Billionaire Alexander Lebedev's National Reserve Corp. may buy a Moscow-based airline to set up its own low-cost carrier to tap the growing travel market.

National Reserve is in talks to buy Airlines-400, CEO Anatoly Danilitsky said Friday.

"If we reach an agreement, this company may become the basis for our low-cost project National Wings,'' he said. (Bloomberg)

MDM Places Eurobonds

MDM Bank has placed loan participation notes worth $425 million at 260 basis points over mid-swaps, the bank's debt chief said Friday.

"Demand was very strong. The issue was three times oversubscribed," said Timur Kibatullin, MDM's head of debt department. Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs organized the issue. (Reuters)

Sitronics Begins Trading

Sitronics, a technology unit of billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenko's Sistema, will start trading on the Russian Trading System board on Monday as it prepares for an initial public offering.

Sitronics will enter the RTS board for an indicative trading and will be under the ticker SITR RU, the exchange said in a statement Friday.

Credit Suisse Group and Renaissance Capital, which organized the IPO, value the company from $2 billion to $2.4 billion and from $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion respectively, according to their analytical reports. (Bloomberg)

Insurer's IPO Organizers

Insurer RESO-Garantiya has picked Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Kleinwort to organize Russia's first initial public share offering in the insurance sector, a banking source said Friday.

"There are plans to list about 20 percent of shares in Russia," the source said, adding that the placement was planned for spring 2007.

RESO-Garantiya, the third-biggest insurance company in Russia based on premiums, had a total premium income of $581.3 million in 2004, according to the company. (Reuters)

Enel to Survey OGK-3

MILAN, Italy -- Italy's biggest utility, Enel, will undertake a due diligence analysis on Russian wholesale power generator OGK-3, which is expected to sell shares in spring, a source familiar with the matter said Saturday.

Enel, which aims to become a strategic investor in the power sector, has said it could invest from 2 billion to 4 billion euros ($5.18 billion) there and was interested in buying blocking stakes in companies. (Reuters)

Renova's CableCom Offer

Moscow CableCom said its largest shareholder, Renova Media Enterprises, increased its offer to buy the company to $12 per share from $10.80.

The revised offer represents a premium of 19.7 percent over Moscow CableCom's Friday closing price of $10.02 on the Nasdaq.

On Nov. 4, 2006, Renova Media Enterprises had offered to acquire the rest of Moscow CableCom shares it does not own for about $130 million in cash. (Reuters)