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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Yukos Declares Its Debts

Yukos owes more than 709 billion rubles ($26.8 billion) to creditors, the external manager of the bankrupt oil company said.

The largest creditor is the Federal Tax Service, claiming 429 billion rubles, followed by state-run oil company Rosneft, with 264 billion rubles in claims, Nikolai Lashkevich, a spokesman for Yukos' receiver, said in a statement Monday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Taps ABN Amro

Gas export monopoly Gazprom plans to name ABN Amro as one of the banks that will arrange a $2 billion loan, Interfax reported Monday, citing an unidentified banker.

The loans will be raised in two issues, of three and five years, the agency cited the banker as saying. Gazprom plans to use the funds to acquire assets of bankrupt Yukos and develop the Sakhalin-2 project, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Mobile Subscribers Increase

Mobile phone companies including MegaFon increased their total subscriber base in the country by 0.3 percent to 152.3 million in January, higher than the number of people in the country.

MegaFon increased its number of subscribers by 1.5 percent to 30 million, Moscow-based researcher Advanced Communications & Media said Monday. Mobile TeleSystems saw its Russian customer base shrink 0.04 percent to 51.2 million. The client base of VimpelCom dropped 0.9 percent to 47.7 million. (Bloomberg)

Alcohol-Free Bochkaryov

Heineken, the third-biggest beer company in Russia by sales, will start selling a non-alcoholic version of its Bochkaryov beer as part of a plan to boost market share in Russia.

Heineken's PIT company will brew the premium Russian brand at its factory in Kaliningrad city and will start selling it this month, Heineken Russia said Monday in an e-mailed statement. Heineken has 35 beer brands in Russia. (Bloomberg)

Toyota Sets Production Date

Japanese automaker Toyota announced plans to begin car production at its St. Petersburg plant Dec. 24, deputy chairman of the firm's representative office Hiroshi Murata said Monday.

Installation of equipment at the plant is set to begin at the start of March, Murata said at the Autoinvest 2007 conference in St. Petersburg, adding that construction of the building is close to completion. The plant's annual output will be 50,000 units at the initial stage and eventually be increased to 200,000 cars, Murata said. (MT)

Chery to Build New Factory

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chinese automaker Chery Automobile plans to build a new plant in Kaliningrad in 2009 to produce 200,000 cars per year, a regional government official said Monday.

Felix Lapin, the Kaliningrad region's economy minister, told reporters the company would invest $200 million in the plant, and that construction would begin in 2007 or 2008. (Reuters)

Magna Plans Kaluga Plant

Magna International, Canada's largest auto-parts maker, plans to build a plant in Kaluga, Interfax reported, citing Alexander Novolotsky, CEO of Magna's Russian unit.

Magna is in talks with the Russian Development and Trade Ministry and may begin designing the plant in 2007, Novolotsky told reporters in St. Petersburg, the Russian news agency reported. The plant will have the capacity to make parts for between 150,000 and 200,000 cars a year, mainly for Volkswagen, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

HSBC Looks to Russia

LONDON -- Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, has applied for a license to provide personal banking services to Russian consumers, a key step towards becoming the first British lender to build a retail presence in Russia.

A spokesman for the bank said Monday that the application had been filed in October, but no response had yet been received. (Reuters)

NBG Eyes Absolut Bank

ATHENS -- Greece's largest lender National Bank is looking to buy Russia's privately owned Absolut Bank as part of its strategy to expand its operations abroad, Greek newspaper Imerisia said Monday.

NBG may pay up to 500 million euros ($649.6 million) for Absolut, which operates about 30 branches in Moscow and has assets of about $1.8 billion, the daily said, without saying where it got its information. (Reuters)

Vekselberg Power Station

Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Integrated Energy Systems is considering building a nuclear power plant, Kommersant reported. Analysts said they doubted the sector would be profitable for private business.

IES is in talks with Rosenergoatom, a nuclear-plant builder, about a station in the Urals, the newspaper said, citing IES president Mikhail Slobodin. (Bloomberg)

Tsentrosoyuz Probe Sought

Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, has asked the prosecutor general to file charges against the head of the Tsentrosoyuz union of consumer organizations, Kommersant reported Monday.

Ulyukayev told Prosecutor General Yury Chaika in a letter dated Feb. 7 that Vasily Yermakov, chairman of Tsentrosoyuz, misappropriated 15.2 million shares of the Paris- based Eurobank and 3 billion shares of Moscow Narodny Bank, worth more than 17 million euros ($22.15 million), Kommersant said, citing the letter. (Bloomberg)

Euroclear Accepts Ruble

Euroclear Bank, the banking arm of the clearance and settlement system for internationally traded securities, will accept the Russian ruble as a settlement currency from Feb. 13.

The ruble is a group A currency with same-day value for wire transfer and pre-advice of fund instructions, Euroclear said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil, Qatar Sign Deal

LUKoil signed an agreement with Qatar Petroleum to explore and develop oil and gas in the Persian Gulf state, the world's largest shipper of liquefied natural gas.

LUKoil CEO Vagit Alekperov signed the agreement with Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al- Attiyah in Doha on Monday, Lukoil said. Alekperov is accompanying President Vladimir Putin during his visit to the Middle East. (Bloomberg)

Potanin Buys Imperial HQ

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin bought the former headquarters of Imperial Bank in the center of Moscow, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing Andrei Kirpichnikov, a spokesman for Interros holding.

Potanin's Interros holding company bought the seven-floor building on Bolshaya Yakimanka in August last year to use as its "front office" the newspaper said, citing Kirpichnikov. (Bloomberg)

Guggenheim Mulls Museum

BEIJING -- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is considering developing a museum project in Beijing, its director said Friday during a visit to China.

The foundation is looking at several possibilities, including a five-year museum collaboration that could be located at a converted factory adjacent to Beijing's 798 art district, said Thomas Krens, director of the foundation. (Bloomberg)

Chagala Seeks $120M IPO

Chagala Group, a Kazakhstan property company, is seeking to raise as much as $120 million in an initial public offering in London.

The offering values Chagala at as much as $207 million, the company said in a statement Monday. The shares are due to begin trading on Feb. 21.

Chagala owns hotels, serviced apartments, offices, bars and restaurants catering to workers at Kazakhstan's oil and gas fields. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Russia will set a new seasonal import tariff on rice of $155 per ton instead of the current $90 to protect domestic producers, the government said Monday. (Reuters)

Magna International, Canada's largest auto-parts maker, plans to build a plant in Kaluga, Interfax reported, citing Alexander Novolotsky, CEO of Magna's Russian unit. (Bloomberg)