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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Kiev Sees WTO Entry in '08

KIEV -- Ukraine will not join the World Trade Organization until late 2008 at the earliest, 15 years after it launched membership talks, the government said Monday.

"In June 2008, Ukraine may complete the entire preparatory process of membership," the government said on its web site. "If at the beginning of autumn, the [WTO] Council ratifies the agreement on Ukrainian membership, within 30 days Ukraine will become a member of the organization." (Reuters)

Severstal Buys Gold Miners

Severstal, the country's largest steelmaker, bought two gold mining companies, the company said Monday.

Severstal acquired Neyungri Metallic, which operates the Tabornoye deposit in the Sakha republic, and Rudnik Aprelkovo, which manages the Pogromnoye property in Siberia, the steelmaker said. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Raises Forecast

Sberbank raised its forecast for net income this year to "at least" 110 billion rubles ($4.4 billion), Vedomosti reported Monday, citing first deputy chief executive Alla Alyoshkina.

That's 10 percent higher than the previous forecast of 100 billion rubles, the newspaper said. State-run Sberbank had profit of 48 billion rubles in the first half, 30 percent more than in the same period last year. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Upgrades Smelter

United Company RusAl said Monday that it increased output at the Khakas site to full capacity two months ahead of schedule.

The $750 million aluminum smelter based in western Siberia was built in 25 months, RusAl said. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Seals Vietnamese Deal

United Company RusAl won state approval to build an aluminum smelter and hydropower plant in Vietnam, Dow Jones reported Monday, citing an unidentified company official in the Southeast Asian country.

RusAl will invest as much as $2 billion to set up the power plant and a smelter with a capacity of 750,000 tons of aluminum per year in the Binh Phuoc province, the agency said. (Bloomberg)

RusAl to Retain Plant Stake

United Company RusAl will retain 50 percent of a planned alumina refinery in Venezuela, more than the country's laws usually allow a foreign company, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said, RIA-Novosti reported Monday.

Zhukov said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez intervened to make an exception for RusAl, the news agency reported. (Bloomberg)

VSMPO Ups Project Stake

VSMPO-Avisma, the world's biggest titanium producer, acquired 33 percent of a molybdenum project in Russia to secure supplies of the metal used in aircraft alloys, it said in a statement Monday.

The company bought a stake in Urals Gold Mining, the project's developer, VSMPO said. The rest of the shares in Urals Gold are controlled by billionaire Iskander Makhmudov's Urals Metals & Mining. (Bloomberg)

Savelyev Gets Sistema Job

Vitaly Savelyev, who resigned as a deputy economic development and trade minister last week, will head Sistema's telecommunications department, Sistema said in a statement Monday, Interfax reported.

Savelyev, 53, will replace Sergei Shebetov, the former head of Sistema Telecom, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Refinery Plans to Restart

Moscow Oil Refinery, the only crude processor in the capital city, will resume normal operations on schedule this week after a month of maintenance reduced output, spokeswoman Zoya Smirnova said Monday.

The refinery was set to resume operations Tuesday or Wednesday, Smirnova said. The refinery used reserves to meet demand in October, she said, declining to specify how much the maintenance work curbed production. (Bloomberg)

Firm Plans $800M Refinery

Severnoye Siyaniye, an oil company based in the Arctic, plans to build an $800 million oil refinery in the northwestern Pskov region, Interfax reported Monday, citing a regional official.

Work on the refinery will start in May and take two years to complete, Deputy Governor Alexei Saprykin said Monday, the service reported. (Bloomberg)

Sibur Sets Aside Shares

Sibur Holding, the petrochemicals arm of Gazprom, said in a statement Monday that it set aside 5 percent of its shares for a management stock-option program.

Sibur received the shares from Gazprom's lending arm Gazprombank, Sibur said in a statement. Sibur's board of directors will determine details of the options program. (Bloomberg)

RZD Eyes Shares in Shipper

Russian Railways plans to buy shares in Novorossiisk Sea Shipping's initial public offering via its TransCreditBank lending unit, Vedomosti said Monday.

TransCreditBank may buy 5 percent of Novorossiisk in the IPO, and Russian Railways may buy 20 percent from the government later, Vedomosti reported, citing officials from both companies. (Bloomberg)

CTC Earnings Reach $17M

Entertainment television network CTC Media said Monday that its third-quarter net profit more than doubled from a year ago to $17.4 million.

The company, which operates in no-news format, also said operating income before depreciation and amortization was up 68 percent to $32 million. Consolidated revenues increased by 33 percent to $94.1 million. (Reuters)

Gazprom Bond Guidance

Gazprom will issue a yen-denominated bond in two tranches of 25 billion yen ($219 million) each, with maturities of three and five years, a banking source said Monday.

The source said the five-year bond spread guidance was mid-swaps plus 160 to 170 basis points, while guidance on the three-year bond was mid-swaps plus 150 to 160 basis points. (Reuters)

For the Record

Computer company IBS values itself at more than $500 million and plans to float less than 25 percent of its shares in Russia during the spring of 2008, the company's general director said Monday. (Reuters)

Inprom, a metals trader that is planning an initial public offering, said Monday that first-half profit was more than double the earnings for the whole of 2006. (Bloomberg)

Television network CTC Media said Monday that its third-quarter net profit more than doubled from a year ago to $17.4 million. (Reuters)