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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Stake in Arsenal Now 23%

LONDON -- Red & White Holdings on Friday lifted its stake in English soccer club Arsenal by 2 percent to 23 percent.

Red & White gained an initial 15 percent on Aug. 30 by buying former Arsenal vice chairman David Dein's holding. Dein is chairman of Red & White, which is controlled by billionaire Alisher Usmanov and fund manager Farhad Moshiri.

The announcement was made in a Regulatory News Service statement. (Bloomberg)

Evraz Boosts Highveld Stake

JOHANNESBURG -- Highveld Steel and Vanadium, South Africa's second-biggest steel maker, said Friday that metals group Evraz had bought a further 24.9 percent stake for $219 million.

The purchase of the extra stake, which was held by Credit Suisse International, gives Evraz a total 80.9 percent holding in Highveld. (Reuters)

Megafon Profit Jumps 64%

Megafon, the country's third-largest mobile phone operator, posted Friday a 64 percent rise in its first-half net profit to 14.4 billion rubles ($577 million), calculated under U.S. general accepted accounting practices.

Megafon is one-third owned by telecoms holding company Telekominvest, in which metals magnate Alisher Usmanov has a 15 percent stake. (Reuters)

Plan to Cut Gas Flaring

The Natural Resources Ministry on Friday asked Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov to approve its plan to make oil firms spend billions of dollars on cutting the amount of gas wastefully flared off during oil production.

The ministry said firms should be allowed to develop oil fields only if they had a clear plan on how to use the associated gas. It proposed progressive fines for flaring and measures to force Gazprom to give producers of processed gas from oil fields unrestricted access to its pipelines. (Reuters)

Gazprom Neft Seeks Loan

LONDON -- Gazprom Neft has begun syndication of a $2.2 billion, three-year amortizing term loan via bookrunners ABN Amro, Calyon, Citigroup and Commerzbank, a banking source said Friday.

Proceeds will be used to expand the company's oil producing and refining capacities.

The deal pays a margin of 75 basis points over the London interbank offered rate and four ticket levels are on offer to banks. A bank meeting will be held on Monday in London. (Reuters)

Vekselberg's Swiss Battle

ZURICH -- The Economic Development and Trade Ministry has threatened to chill relations with Swiss companies in a takeover battle between Viktor Vekselberg and Swiss engineering group Sulzer, a Swiss newspaper reported Sunday.

In a letter, then-Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref threatened his Swiss counterpart, Doris Leuthard, with measures if Vekselberg was not allowed to use the voting power reflected by his 32 percent stake in Sulzer, SonntagsZeitung reported. (Reuters)

Vekselberg Copper Link

HAMBURG, Germany -- Supervisory board members of Norddeutsche Affinerie believe Viktor Vekselberg is behind Austrian company A-Tec, which has built up a large stake in Europe's largest copper producer, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday.

A spokesman for Renova, Vekselberg's investment vehicle, said, "Neither Renova nor Viktor Vekselberg personally have a relationship to the person mentioned." (Reuters)

GDP Growth Slows to 6.4%

Gross domestic product growth slowed to 6.4 percent in August, year-on-year, from a rate of 8.0 percent in July, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Friday.

The figure was in line with the number announced earlier in the week by Andrei Klepach, head of the ministry's forecasting department. (Reuters)

Michelmore Quits En+

LONDON -- Andrew Michelmore resigned Friday as chief executive officer of En+, the holding company for the energy, power and aluminum assets of billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Michelmore, former head of nickel miner WMC Resources, will also step down from the board of United Company RusAl, and those of other En+ units. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

The trade surplus was $82.1 billion in the first eight months of the year, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Friday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom and Turkey's Zorlu Group will submit bids for Ankara's gas distribution company when it is put up for sale next month, the Sabah newspaper reported Friday. (Bloomberg)

Uralkali was valued at $6 billion to $9.7 billion by banks managing the potash producer's share sale in London this month, Interfax said Friday, citing a banking source. (Bloomberg)

The Natural Resources Ministry is drafting amendments to a plan to speed up development at the Kovykta and Chayandkiskoye gas fields, Interfax reported Friday. (Bloomberg)

Billionaire Vasily Anisimov will develop a Kazakh uranium deposit with Russian and Kazakh uranium firms that may add 8 percent to global production, a spokeswoman said. (Bloomberg)