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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

New Bid for Yukos Assets

Unitex, a little-known company fronting for Gazprom, is planning to bid for Yukos gas assets in an April 4 auction, Vedomosti quoted a source as saying Thursday.

Gazprom has enlisted the company to participate in the auction in case the two other interested parties, independent gas producer Novatek and Italian-Russian consortium ESN Energo, decide not to take part, the source said.

Yukos' 20 percent stake in Gazprom Neft, as well as gas production assets Arcticgaz and Urengoil, will be sold off at the April 4 bankruptcy auction. (MT)

LUKoil Mum About Tupras

LUKoil declined to confirm or deny a report that it offered to buy Turkey's biggest refinery for $10 billion.

"No comment," LUKoil spokesman Dmitry Dolgov said by phone, when asked about the report in Turkey's Sabah newspaper Thursday.

"LUKoil plans to expand its Bulgarian refinery rather than seek refining capacity in Turkey," Dolgov said, citing CEO Vagit Alekperov. (Bloomberg)

Algeria's Russian Arms Buys

Algeria may overtake China and India as the biggest purchaser of Russian weapons after it invited Russia to bid for contracts valued at $7 billion, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Algeria invited Russia this month to join bids for the joint construction of warships and delivery of a helicopter-carrying frigate, the newspaper said, citing the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation. Talks are also underway on sales of aircraft, tanks and air-defense systems, Kommersant reported. (Bloomberg)

Aeroflot Will Lease10 Jets

Aeroflot signed a preliminary agreement with AerCap Holdings to lease 10 Airbus SAS planes for long-haul routes while it awaits delivery of new A350 jets, the airline said Thursday.

Aeroflot will receive two of the A330 planes in 2008, five the following year and three the year after. (Bloomberg)

SABMiller to Build Brewery

LONDON -- SABMiller, the brewer of Pilsner Urquell beer, said it would spend about $170 million to build a plant outside the city of Ulyanovsk.

The brewery will have an initial capacity of 3 million hectoliters (2.5 million barrels) and is scheduled to go into operation in early 2009, the company said Thursday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

UMMC Plans $386M Plant

YEKATERINBURG -- Urals Mining and Metals aims to spend $386 million building a new steel plant from 2008, the latest investment in expanding its ferrous metals capacity across Russia, the company's CEO said.

Copper and zinc producer UMMC will build the plant, with capacity to produce 600,000 tons per year of crude steel and 545,000 tons of rolled products, in Agidel, a town in the republic of Bashkortostan. (Reuters)

Mechel Buys Power Plant

Coal and steel producer Mechel won an auction for a Siberian power plant with a bid of 6.9 billion rubles ($270 million), Interfax reported Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Mechel bought 93.4 percent of the South Kuzbass District Power Plant with a bid 2.9 billion rubles above the starting price of 4 billion rubles, the agency said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Belarus' Rising Gas Costs

MINSK -- Belarus, which pays for only half of its gas supplies from Russia, will start paying in full from July, Belarussian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said Thursday.

Russia doubled gas prices for Belarus from the start of the year to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters from $46.70 previously.

"We have agreed about payments for 55 percent of the deliveries because we needed a certain adaptation period for the economy," Semashko said. "Three months went by. We have survived this shock, thank God." (Reuters)

Vozrozhdenie Profit Surges

Bank Vozrozhdenie said Thursday that profit surged 61 percent last year as it loaned more money to consumers and small businesses.

Net income advanced to $30.4 million from $18.9 million in 2005, it said. Earnings per share climbed 53 percent to $1.48.

The bank's loan portfolio swelled 86 percent to $1.99 billion last year, with retail credits accounting for 17 percent of the total. (Bloomberg)

Novatek Profit Falls 15%

Gas firm Novatek said Thursday that its net profit calculated by Russian accounting standards, which is used to calculate dividends, fell 14.7 percent in 2006.

Novatek said that its net profit calculated by Russian standards, which differ greatly from international standards, was 12.95 billion rubles ($498.3 million) in 2006. (Reuters)