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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

RusAl Lawsuit Dismissed

Russian Aluminum, which is forming the world's biggest aluminum company, said a U.S. court dismissed a $2.8 billion lawsuit challenging the company's acquisition of Nigerian smelter operator Alscon.

Judge William Corner of the U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York dismissed the case "on the grounds that New York was not the appropriate court forum for [the] claims," RusAl said in a statement Monday. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Seeks $250M Loan

LUKoil is seeking to borrow $250 million at its lowest-ever interest rate.

The company is planning to pay 40 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate on the five-year loan, a banker familiar with the transaction said. ABN Amro Holding and Calyon, the loan's arrangers, are syndicating the deal to a wider group of lenders, the banker said. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Plans Investments

WARSAW -- LUKoil plans to invest "tens of millions of dollars" in Poland, the Gazeta Prawna newspaper reported Monday.

The company will focus on expanding its Polish fuel station network, Wladimir Zander, deputy director of the company's Polish unit, told the Polish newspaper in an interview, declining to specify further how much LUKoil planned to invest in the country. (Bloomberg)

Russia Starts Sowing Early

Russia has started the spring sowing campaign five to 10 days earlier than usual due to a mild winter and warm weather in March, the Agriculture Ministry said Monday.

Farms in the Southern Federal District and in the Belgorod region in the Central Federal District have sown 550,000 hectares with spring crops, or 6.8 percent of the planned sowings area, a ministry statement said. (Reuters)

Economic Zones Near Ports

Russia will create four economic zones around ports in different parts of the country this year to attract investment and develop infrastructure, Interfax reported Monday, citing Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref.

The zones -- in the northwestern, northern, southern and far eastern parts of the country -- will offer tax and other incentives to investors, the news service said. No other details were immediately available. (Bloomberg)

Turkmens to Raise Exports

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmenistan, Central Asia's top natural gas exporter, plans to raise gas sales by one-quarter this year to 58 billion cubic meters, state media reported Monday.

Turkmenistan has long considered plans for new pipelines to expand exports, but most shipments currently go through a pipeline network controlled by Gazprom. Neighboring Iran also buys a small portion of Turkmen exports. (Reuters)

Emirates Bank's $1Bln Loan

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Emirates Bank International may lend some $1 billion to banks in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Turkey this year, a senior bank official said Monday.

"We are working now on four transactions with banks in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Turkey," said Mohammad Kamran Wajid, head of financial institutions at Emirates Bank International. (Reuters)

Amur Minerals Cuts Losses

Amur Minerals, which holds licenses to mine nickel in Russia, said Monday that recorded losses last year fell to $1.51 million from $1.56 million in 2005.

Operating losses declined to $1.4 million from $1.5 million, as calculated under international accounting standards, the company said in a statement. Amur Minerals was founded in 2004 to pursue exploration and production opportunities in the Far East. (Reuters)

Venezuela Grants Oil Rights

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez granted Belarus the rights to develop oil fields in the South American country.

The fields will be able to pump about 2 million tons of oil per year, the Belarussian government said in a statement carried by its Belta news service Monday. Chavez made the announcement during a meeting with Belarussian officials, Belta said. (Bloomberg)

Vester to Borrow $300M

Supermarket chain Vester will borrow $300 million from lender Moskommertsbank to fund expansion, Kommersant reported Monday, citing the retailer's owner, Oleg Bolychev.

The loan includes an option for Moskommertsbank, controlled by Kazakhstan's Kazkommertsbank, to buy 10 percent of Kaliningrad-based Vester in four years, the retailer's vice president Dmitry Kravchenko told the newspaper. (Bloomberg)

Vekselberg's Stake in RusAl

Viktor Vekselberg will own about 7.7 percent of United Company RusAl, which will be the world's biggest aluminum maker when it is formed this month, Interfax reported Monday.

Vekselberg's business partner, Leonid Blavatnik, will own 6.6 percent, the news service said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Oleg Deripaska will own 66 percent of the new company, which will unite his Russian Aluminum, Vekselberg and Blavatnik's SUAL Group and the alumina assets of Glencore International, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Reso May Raise $300M

Insurance company Reso-Garantia will seek to raise as much as $300 million in an IPO, Kommersant said Monday, citing an unidentified official with knowledge of the matter.

Reso-Garantia plans to sell 20 percent of its shares in May or June, the paper reported. The insurer hired Deutsche Bank 's Russian unit, Dresdner Bank and Morgan Stanley to organize the share sale. (Bloomberg)

Metropol Sells Battery Stake

The Metropol Group investment house, a developer of huge zinc and lead deposits, said Monday that it had sold its 40 percent stake in battery firm Russkiye Akkumulyatory to its partner in the project.

From now on, the partner, privately owned Power International, will hold 80 percent in the battery company.

"The deal has been organized on the basis of the estimated value of the Russkiye Akkumulyatory assets of $100 million," Metropol said. (Reuters)

Eurasia Mining's New Find

LONDON -- Eurasia Mining said drilling at a license area in northwestern Russia had uncovered a new platinum-group metals deposit.

The find was at Volchetundra, where the first $10 million of exploration is funded by Anglo Platinum, London-based Eurasia said Monday. The drilling uncovered "several zones of platinum mineralization," with grades of between 1.9 and 11 grams per ton of platinum and palladium, the firm said. (Bloomberg)