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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Kudrin to Head WTO Talks

Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin will oversee the nation's negotiations for joining the World Trade Organization, Interfax reported Thursday.

"A government meeting today decided to assign government commissions to ministers, deputy prime ministers and the prime minister. ... I have been assigned the task of chairing the government commission on WTO accession," Kudrin said, RIA-Novosti reported. (MT)

United Aircraft Mulls Sale

United Aircraft Corporation, the country's state aviation holding company, will sell a 10 percent to 15 percent stake to the Development Bank, a state lender formerly known as Vneshekonombank, Interfax reported Thursday, without saying where it got the information.

United Aircraft expects to raise $1 billion to $1.5 billion in the sale, the agency reported. (Bloomberg)

Nabiullina, Kozak Join Bank

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov earlier this week appointed Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina and Regional Development Minister Dmitry Kozak to the supervisory board of the Development Bank, Interfax reported Thursday.

Nabiullina and Kozak will replace former Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref and Federal Atomic Energy Agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko, Zubkov said.

"Officials from one state corporation cannot be on the supervisory board of another," Zubkov said, Interfax reported. (MT)

Uralkali Sale Raises $1Bln

Uralkali, a potash maker, said Thursday that it raised $1.07 billion in a share sale after the joint coordinators exercised a so-called greenshoe option.

Renaissance Capital, UBS and Citigroup, who handled the Uralkali offering, exercised the option to buy shares equal to 15 percent of the original number on offer to investors, the company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Reserves Rise to $434Bln

Foreign currency and gold reserves, the world's third largest, rose to a record $434 billion in the week to Oct. 12, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The reserves rose $9.2 billion in that period, the Central Bank said. The reserves had declined from a record to $424.8 billion in the previous week. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Wins Mine License

Precious metals miner Polymetal said Thursday that it won an auction for a license to explore and mine gold at a field in Siberia, which is estimated to contain at least 40 tons of the metal.

Polymetal said in a statement that its winning bid for the 25-year license amounted to $1.1 million.

The Sovremenny prospect, located in the Krasnoyarsk region has four main mineralization zones with some ore bodies containing up to 12.9 grams of gold per ton. (Reuters)

Eurasia Drilling Seeks Funds

Eurasia Drilling, the former oil-services unit of LUKoil, is seeking to raise about $450 million by selling Global Depositary Receipts to trade in London, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Eurasia Drilling set a price range of $20.80 to $27.20 for each GDR, the company said in a statement Thursday. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Considers Smelter

United Company RusAl and the government of the Sakhalin region have signed a memorandum of understanding on the possible construction of a 750,000-ton aluminum smelter, Interfax reported Thursday.

Interfax quoted Sakhalin Governor Alexander Khoroshavin as telling reporters the project, which would also require construction of a power station, would require investment of $7 billion. (Reuters)

McGrahan Gets CPC Post

Chevron's vice president for Eurasia, Andrew McGrahan, was elected board chairman of the Russian division of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

McGrahan led his first meeting at CPC-R on Thursday following Wednesday's shareholders meeting, the group said in a statement, without elaborating on the board's agenda. (Bloomberg)

NLMK Sees Revenue Boost

Novolipetsk Steel, the country's fourth-largest steelmaker, expects an increase in sales revenues this year after production and prices edged up in the third quarter, the company said Thursday.

Novolipetsk, or NLMK, said in a statement crude steel output was 2.23 million tons in the third quarter of 2007, up 0.6 percent year-on-year and 1.3 percent on the preceding quarter. (Reuters)

Mitsui to Help Railways

Mitsui, Japan's second-largest trading company, signed an accord with Russian Railways and investment bank Troika Dialog on Thursday to help Russia attract customers to the Trans-Siberian Railroad, luring them away from shipping by sea.

Russia markets the Trans-Siberian as a cheaper and quicker alternative to ships for moving goods to Europe from Asia. Using the route allows Japanese companies to cut delivery times to western Russia to 18 days, compared with 45 days by sea, Russian Railways said. (Bloomberg)

ArcelorMittal Eyes Plant

KRYVY RIH, Ukraine -- ArcelorMittal stands by its $800 million bid for an iron ore plant in Ukraine and plans to invest $2 billion at its Kryvorizhstal steel complex by 2012, a senior company official said.

The world's largest steel company bid for the unfinished, Soviet-era plant in 2006, but the tender is blighted by a faceoff between the government and President Viktor Yushchenko, who ordered a halt to any dealings relating to the sale. (Reuters)

X5 May Not Buy Carousel

X5 Retail Group, the biggest Russian grocer, may not exercise an option to buy rival Carousel Group, an investor with stakes in both companies said.

The chance of an acquisition going through is less than 10 percent, St. Petersburg-based Carousel said Thursday in a statement. It was verified by Andrei Rogachyov, who owns more than half of Carousel and a joint 21 percent stake in X5. (Bloomberg)

Kazakhs Seal Uranium Buy

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan's state-run uranium producer, Kazatomprom, said Thursday that it completed the purchase of a 10 percent stake in Westinghouse Electric from Toshiba.

Toshiba, which bought 77 percent of Westinghouse last October for about $4.16 billion, sold the stake for $540 million, Kazatomprom said in August. Kazakhstan plans to become the world's largest uranium miner by 2010 and increase its share of Japan's market to about one-third from 1 percent now. (Bloomberg)

Estonia Charges 4 in Riots

TALLINN, Estonia -- Estonian prosecutors on Thursday filed charges against four activists accused of organizing street violence in April that killed one person and led to the arrest of nearly 1,000 people.

Prosecutor Laura Vaik said those accused -- Dmitry Klensky, 61, Dmitry Linter, 33, Maxim Reva, 32, and Mark Sirok, 18 -- began planning the riots in mid-2006 with backing from Moscow.

Klensky, Linter and Reva were leaders of an informal organization created last year to prevent the relocation of a Soviet war memorial. Sirok heads the Estonian branch of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi. (AP)

34 Skeletons From 1800s

Thirty-four skeletons found under a Moscow mansion between Red Square and the FSB headquarters date back to the 19th century, the City Prosecutor's Office said Thursday.

Police earlier said the skeletons probably belonged to people killed during Stalin's rule in the 1930s. (Reuters)