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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gruzdev Sells Sedmoi Stake

Sedmoi Kontinent shareholder Alexander Zanadvorov bought out his partner Vladimir Gruzdev's stake in the Russian supermarket chain, the company said Thursday in a statement.

Zanadvorov now has full control of 7K Invest Holding, which owns a 74.81 percent stake, the company said.

Gruzdev, a pro-Kremlin State Duma deputy who is expected to fly into space next year, plans to pursue a career in politics. (Bloomberg)

Reserves Rise to $448Bln

Foreign currency and gold reserves rose to a record $447.9 billion in the week that ended Nov. 2, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The reserves advanced $6.6 billion from $441.3 billion in the previous week, the Central Bank said in a statement. The Central Bank has been purchasing foreign currency to manage the ruble exchange rate and curb inflation spurred by inflows of petrodollars. (Bloomberg)

Olympic Chief Appointed

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov on Thursday officially appointed former Transneft CEO Semyon Vainshtok as head of the state corporation organizing the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

President Vladimir Putin invited Vainshtok to take charge of the corporation in early September. (MT)

Coal Deposit Receives Bids

LONDON -- Russia received four bids to mine the Serafimovsky coal deposit in Siberia, Interfax reported Thursday, citing an unidentified person at the region's natural resources department.

Bids came from Zarechnaya, controlled by Ukraine's Donstal group, Serafimovskoye, Sibirskaya Mine and TEKinvest Servis, it said. The deposit, with about 163 million tons of coal reserves, has a $14.3 million starting price, it said. The buyer will get a 20-year license with the possibility of an extension, Interfax added. (Bloomberg)

Rybolovlev's LUKoil Venture

Dmitry Rybolovlev, the billionaire owner of potash maker Uralkali, is going into the oil business with LUKoil, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Rybolovlev's Madura Holding and LUKoil unit LUKoil-Perm founded a 50-50 venture called Kama-Oil in March, the paper said, citing the state register.

Andrei Belokon, the head of the Perm region subsoil agency, said Kama-Oil representatives had informed him of their intention to participate in the sale of six oil field licenses. (Bloomberg)

Enel Bets $6Bln on Russia

LONDON -- Italian utility Enel is spending up to $6 billion in Russia as it gambles it can profit from Europe's biggest untapped energy market, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The company may not know how it can secure its fuel supplies, it will have electricity prices set by the government and it will have to please Gazprom, the newspaper said. Enel CEO Fulvio Conti said risks were low because Russia needed overseas funding to build infrastructure. (Bloomberg)

Golden Telecom Profit Soars

Independent fixed-line operator Golden Telecom said Thursday that its third-quarter net profit more than tripled year on year to $74.4 million.

Revenues rose 53 percent to $350.4 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization increased by 35 percent to $85.1 million, the company said. (Reuters)

Baltika Profit Rises 32%

Baltika Breweries, whose joint owners are vying for full control of the company, said Thursday that nine-month profit gained 32 percent after rising household incomes fueled sales of more expensive brands.

Net income climbed to 335 million euros ($490 million) in January through September from 254 million euros a year earlier, the brewer said. Sales increased 32 percent to 1.76 billion euros. (Bloomberg)

Sovcomflot Profit Rises 69%

Sovcomflot said Wednesday that nine-month profit advanced 69 percent as the company expanded its fleet.

Net income climbed to $209 million, from $124 million a year earlier, the shipper said. Sales gained 22 percent to $464 million. (Bloomberg)

Uralkali to List on MICEX

Potash maker Uralkali plans to list common shares on the MICEX, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Uralkali, which raised $1.07 billion in a share sale in London last month, has been trading without listing on the MICEX, the firm said. (Bloomberg)

Vozrozhdeniye Net Doubles

Bank Vozrozhdeniye said profit in the first nine months of the year more than doubled, Interfax said Thursday.

Net income advanced to $49 million from $23 million in the same period last year, the bank said, the agency reported. (Bloomberg)

RBC Sales Increase 91%

RBC Information Systems, owner of the only Russian-language television channel dedicated to business, said Thursday that third-quarter sales surged 91 percent, spurred by growth in the media market.

Revenue climbed to $48.4 million from $25.4 million a year earlier, according to results reported under international accounting standards, RBC said. (Bloomberg)

U.S., Russia in Joint Audits

The U.S. Government Accountability Office and Russia's government spending watchdog signed a cooperation agreement, the first of its kind for the audit and investigation arm of Congress, the Russian Audit Chamber said in a statement posted on its web site Thursday.

The accord allows the Washington-based GAO and the Audit Chamber to share information and hold joint audits "in areas that are of mutual interest for Russia and the United States," the chamber said. (Bloomberg)

Kiev Seeks Help on Energy

KIEV -- Ukraine is holding talks with Austria's OMV and Gazprom about possible exploration along the Black Sea coast, as the former Soviet state seeks to cut its dependence on energy imports.

Chornomornaftogaz, the state-run energy company, is targeting the companies for investment to boost domestic oil and gas production, chief executive Anatoliy Prysyazhnyuk said Thursday at a news conference in Kiev. (Bloomberg)

Turkmens Sure on Reserves

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov said his country had enough gas reserves to fill pipelines planned for construction, Interfax reported Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting with business representatives in Brussels, Berdymukhammedov said an exploratory well at the Southern Iolotan field in southeast Turkmenistan was already yielding more than 1 million cubic meters of gas per day. (MT)