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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Saudi, Russian Oil Venture

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Russian and Saudi investors want to establish an oil-services company with an estimated capital of 500 million riyals ($133 million), th Al-Riyadh newspaper reported Thursday.

Saudi investors will hold a 51 percent stake, the newspaper reported, citing Ahmed al-Sanae, the deputy director of the Saudi-Russian Business Council. The company will conduct oil field and well services in Russia, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Gold Reserves

Polyus Gold CEO Yevgeny Ivanov says his company probably holds the world's third-largest proven reserves of the precious metal.

Polyus' Natalka deposit in the Far East has 1,282.9 tons, or 41.2 million ounces, of gold that "are likely to convert into proven and probable reserves" under international standards, Ivanov said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Fridman Buys Into Miner

Billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group is buying up shares in Artel Staratelei Amur, a Russian gold and platinum miner, Vedomosti said Thursday, citing Alexei Mikhailovsky, head of Alfa's gold unit.

Alfa now has 40 percent of the miner, its first foray into the precious metals industry, the newspaper said. Moscow-based Alians Group, whose assets range from oil to construction, also has about 40 percent of Artel and is seeking control, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine's GDP Increases

KIEV -- Expansion in the construction and processing industries lifted Ukraine's gross domestic product growth to 9.3 percent in January, the State Statistics Committee said Thursday.

The figures are broadly in line with the government forecast. GDP had grown 0.9 percent in the same month of 2006. First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who also acts as Finance Minister, last week predicted growth of no less than 10 percent in January but later revised down the forecast to 9.3 percent. (Reuters)

Magnit Sales Rise 57%

Magnit said Thursday sales rose 57 percent in January as it opened 10 new stores.

Revenue came to $243.2 million, the company said. Magnit's store count increased to 1,903. The company operates discount food stores in more than 470 cities in Russia. (Bloomberg)

Artradis Investing in Russia

HONG KONG -- Artradis Fund Management Pte, a Singapore-based hedge fund with $1 billion of assets, will invest in infrastructure in Russia.

The month-old Artradis Russia Opportunities Fund has $14 million under management and aims to raise $100 million initially, said Managing Director Stephen Diggle. Unlike most Russian funds, Artradis will target infrastructure, consumer and consumer finance stocks, he said. (Bloomberg)

New Kazakh GSM Firm

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Mobile Telecom Service, owned by Kazakhstan's largest fixed-line operator Kazakhtelekom , has become the country's third GSM-standard mobile phone firm, Kazakhtelekom said Thursday.

Kazakhtelekom said last year that MTS GSM, which will operate in Kazakhstan under the Neo-Telecom brand, would be launched in early 2007. (Reuters)

Celtic Resources Production

LONDON -- Celtic Resources Holdings said total attributable gold production in 2006 surged 75 percent after it improved its plant.

Production rose to 59,086 ounces in 2006 from 37,991 ounces the year before, the company said Thursday. The firm sold the metal for an average price of $609.21 per ounce, it said. Celtic is "seeking further group gold production increases" this year, managing director Kevin Foo said. (Bloomberg)

Solvay's PVC Plant Project

BRUSSELS -- Belgian drugs, chemicals and plastics maker Solvay said Thursday that it was closing in on a deal to build a PVC vinyls plant in Russia with Gazprom unit Sibur and expected to reach a decision this year.

"We know where and with whom," Jacques van Rijckevorsel, head of Solvay's plastics division, said after the release of Solvay's 2006 results. (Reuters)

Georgia's Rich List

Boris Berezovsky's longtime business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili is the richest person in Georgia, The Georgia Times said Thursday, without saying where it got the information.

Patarkatsishvili is worth $12 billion, the newspaper said. Other people on the list include Aslan Abashidze, the former leader of Adzharia, in 12th place with a reputed fortune of $1 billion, and former Defense Minister, Irakli Okruashvili, in 33rd place with $250 million. (MT)