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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Italians Eye Gazprom Deal

MILAN, Italy -- Aem, ASM and Hera may together take a 50 percent stake in a natural gas distribution and sales company that Gazprom plans to open in Italy this year, Italian newspaper MF reported Tuesday, citing no one.

Intesa Sanpaolo is looking for a partner for Gazprom, which wants to sell as much as 3 billion cubic meters of gas per year in Italy, according to the newspaper.

The three Italian energy companies already have a contract to buy 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Gazprom until September 2008. (Bloomberg)

Kerimov Seen in Media IPO

Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov's Nafta-Moskva will sell 20 percent of its media assets in an initial public offering, raising up to $400 million, Kommersant reported Tuesday, citing unidentified banking officials.

Nafta's National Cable Networks will set up a subsidiary, National Telecommunications, which will combine all its media companies, serving 4.4 million customers, the paper said. (Bloomberg)

Output Growth Slows

The country's September industrial output rose 3 percent compared with a year ago and was down 0.2 percent in month-on-month terms, the State Statistics Service said Tuesday.

September's annual growth rate is the lowest so far in 2007.

"Such a modest industrial output growth rate gives us reasons to rethink our 7.5 percent gross domestic product growth forecast for 2007," said Yevgeny Nadorshin, analyst at Trust Bank. (Reuters)

Chevron Pipe Opposed

NEW YORK -- Chevron still faces major Russian opposition to a pipeline carrying oil from the Tengiz field in Kazakhstan, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The pipeline from Tengiz across Russian territory to the Black Sea would be the main conduit for oil from Kazakhstan; until the dispute is resolved the success of Chevron's $6 billion investment in Tengiz remains in question, the Journal said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft Oil Find

Gazprom Neft found an additional oil deposit at the Vorgensky license area in Siberia, the oil producer said in a statement Tuesday.

Gazprom Neft's new deposit holds more than 90 million tons of crude, based on preliminary data from its exploration well number 772, the company said.

The license area, in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, holds recoverable resources of 140 million tons, Gazprom Neft said. (Bloomberg)

Central Bank Buys Bonds

The Central Bank bought back 46 billion rubles ($1.8 billion) of government bonds three weeks ago at above-market prices, a sign of turmoil in the nation's money markets, Kommersant said Tuesday.

The bank purchased the debt to relieve stress in the banking system, Central Bank chairman Sergei Ignatyev said, the newspaper reported. The bonds were bought at about 2 percent above market prices. (Bloomberg)

E.On Seeks No More Buys

DUSSELDORF, Germany -- E.On, Europe's largest utility by sales, has no immediate plans for more takeovers in Russia after its 4.1 billion euro ($5.82 billion) acquisition of power firm OGK-4, its chief executive said late Monday.

The company is, however, examining further auctions of power providers in the country and would consider bidding depending on the circumstances of each transaction, chief executive Wulf Bernotat said. (Reuters)

MTS Increases Subscribers

Mobile TeleSystems, the country's largest mobile-phone company, said in a statement Tuesday that it increased subscribers in Russia and other former Soviet countries to almost 78 million in September.

The number of subscribers grew 2.5 percent from August and 15.4 percent compared with the same period last year, the company said. (Bloomberg)

SUEK Exports Rise 15%

SUEK, the country's largest coal producer, said in a statement Monday that it boosted exports 15 percent in January through September.

SUEK shipped 19.4 million tons of coal, most of it to Britain, Japan and South Korea, it said. Domestic sales fell 4 percent to 41 million tons.

SUEK mined 62.3 million tons in the nine months, 1.7 percent less than a year earlier, it said. (Bloomberg)

Surgut Bullish on Output

Surgutneftegas oil company, has potential to raise output to 2 million barrels per day from the current stagnant 1.3 million bpd due to its massive reserves, it said Tuesday.

Surgut quoted its chief executive, Vladimir Bogdanov, as telling a news conference last month that the company hoped to book around 1 billion tons in new reserves in east Siberia. (Reuters)

Usmanov Backs Arsenal

Arsenal suitor Alisher Usmanov said Tuesday that he would not veto any proposals by the board at the London football club's annual meeting in two days.

The billionaire, who has built a 23 percent stake in the 13-time English league champion, "intends to vote in favor of all the resolutions," at the meeting, his Red & White Holding said in a statement.

Red & White "also supports the board's policy of reinvesting the surplus cash flow into the club and not paying dividends," the holding company said in its statement said. (Bloomberg)

MMK Chooses Supplier

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, the country's third-largest steelmaker, said Tuesday that Danieli would supply equipment for a $1.7 billion project in Turkey.

Danieli will supply equipment for production sites in Istanbul and Iskanderun, the steelmaker said in a statement, without providing the contract's value. (Bloomberg)

AmRest Buys Potato Stake

Polish restaurant chain AmRest bought a 30 percent stake in fast food baked-potato chain Kroshka Kartoshka, Interfax reported Tuesday.

A final agreement on the deal will be signed Dec. 1, AmRest said in a statement, the agency reported.

The Polish chain acquired the stake from Andrei Kononchuk and Vitaly Naumenko, Interfax said. AmRest said it would expand the chain in Russia, Ukraine and other markets. (MT)

Diamond Prices Set to Rise

ANTWERP, Belgium -- Diamond prices will rise to "unprecedented levels" as demand outpaces production, the president of state monopoly Alrosa said Tuesday.

"For the first time, the market faces a growing deficit of rough" diamonds, Sergei Vybornov said. "This will shake the very foundations of the full diamond market," he told a diamond conference in Antwerp, Belgium. (Bloomberg)