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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom, BASF Stake Swap

Gazprom and BASF completed the swap of gas-field and distribution assets they had agreed on in June as part of a plan to supply fuel directly to Germany, Gazprom said Thursday.

Gazprom will raise its stake in Wingas, its German gas-distribution venture with BASF, to 50 percent minus one share, Gazprom said.

BASF will gain 25 percent of the common stock minus one share, as well as one privileged share, in Severneftegazprom, the license-holder to the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field in Siberia. (Bloomberg)

Savelyev Quits Ministry

Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Vitaly Savelyev resigned Wednesday, becoming the first senior official to leave the ministry since President Vladimir Putin appointed a new minister last month.

Savelyev, 53, has gone to work in "business," ministry spokeswoman Alla Borisenkova said.

Savelyev held the post since 2004. He has held several jobs in the banking and energy industries, including being a deputy chief executive of Gazprom from 2001 through 2002. (Bloomberg)

Rosbank Purchase Approved

The Central Bank granted Societe Generale, France's second-biggest bank, permission to acquire a majority stake in Rosbank, Societe Generale said Thursday.

Societe Generale has an option to increase its stake in Rosbank from 20 percent to just over 50 percent until the end of 2008. (Bloomberg)

Irkut Begins Parts Deliveries

Irkut, the country's largest aircraft producer by orders, has begun delivering parts for Airbus SAS airliners, Irkut president Oleg Demchenko said in a statement Thursday.

The first Russian-manufactured landing-gear bay for Airbus was installed on an A320 at a factory in Meaulte, France, Demchenko said.

Airbus has ordered parts valued at about $2 billion from state-run Irkut for delivery by 2015, the statement said. (Bloomberg)

Conoco's LUKoil Profit Falls

ConocoPhillips said Wednesday that profit from its equity stake in LUKoil, which produces more oil and natural gas than the U.S. company, fell 21 percent in the third quarter as the Russian oil producer's costs rose.

ConocoPhillips, which owns 20 percent of LUKoil, said the oil company contributed $387 million of its $3.67 billion net income for the third quarter, down from $487 million in the year-earlier period. (Bloomberg)

Chelyabinsk Output Up

Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant said Thursday that it produced 11.3 percent more of the anti-corrosive metal in the first nine months of 2007.

Chelyabinsk produced 122,676 tons of zinc and zinc alloys in January-September, up from 110,178 tons in the same period of last year. (Reuters)

MegaFon Starts 3G Network

MegaFon started the first network for so-called third-generation phones in Russia yesterday, Vedomosti said Thursday.

The system consists of 30 Nokia Siemens Networks stations and covers central St. Petersburg, railroad terminals, airports and a region outside the city, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

VTB Seeks $700M Loan

The supervisory council of VTB has approved raising 17.3 billion rubles ($694 million) in three 6-month collateralized loans from the Central Bank, VTB said Thursday.

The Central Bank lent 6.9 billion rubles to VTB last month at an annual rate of 7.5 percent for 180 days, accepting as collateral VTB's credits of around $500 million to Rosneft. (Reuters)

VTB Merger Not Priority

VTB said Thursday that its legal merger with regional bank VTB North-West was no longer an operational priority.

"Effecting a legal merger of the two banks under Russian law is currently no longer an operational priority for the Group," the bank said in its eurobond issue prospectus.

The merger with VTB North-West, a medium-sized regional bank based in St. Petersburg, which was previously called Promstroibank, had been due for completion by the end of 2007. (Reuters)

VTB Plans Eurobond Issues

VTB plans two eurobond issues, a market source said Thursday, as international capital markets re-open for Russia's first-tier borrowers.

The source said the bank planned to place a five-year eurobond at mid-swaps plus 200 basis points and a 2-year eurobond at 3-month LIBOR plus 170 basis points. (Reuters)

Gazprom to Issue Yen Bond

LONDON -- Gazprom will issue a benchmark yen-denominated bond after holding a road show next week, one of the lead managers, Citi, said Thursday.

The gas firm has picked Citi, Mizuho and Societe Generale to manage the issue, the bank said. Citi is acting through Nikko Citi. (Reuters)

Lenta Considers Share Sale

Lenta, the country's third-biggest food retailer, is considering selling shares or borrowing funds to expand its hypermarket-building program across the country, chief financial officer Kirill Panyushkin said Thursday.

The St. Petersburg-based company may hold an initial public offering, private placement or take loans either this year or in 2008, Panyushkin said. The retailer may combine ways of raising funds after it signs one loan agreement next week, he added. (Bloomberg)

Kroenke on Usmanov

LONDON -- Stan Kroenke said Thursday that he might agree not to sell his 12 percent stake in Arsenal in order to prevent billionaire Alisher Usmanov from gaining control of the club.

Arsenal directors, who control about 46 percent of the equity, a week ago pledged not to sell their stock to anyone other than close family until April 18, 2009. (Bloomberg)

Bombardier Seeks Deals

Bombardier, the world's largest train maker, said Wednesday that it might bid for contracts in Russia as Russian Railways prepared to spend as much as 10 trillion rubles ($400 billion) to overhaul its network.

"Russia has always been a market of high interest," said David Slack, a spokesman for Bombardier's train-making unit. (Bloomberg)

Dexia Eyes Ramstore Tie-up

BRUSSELS -- Dexia plans to sell financial services in Russia and has completed a distribution agreement with supermarket chain Ramstore, De Standaard reported Thursday, without saying where it got the information.

Dexia, based in Brussels, plans to install "banking corners" in Ramstore supermarkets to sell services including consumer credit, according to the newspaper. (Bloomberg)