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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom Eyes Eni Assets

Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said the company was considering which assets being offered by Eni and Enel would fit best with its strategy, Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported Thursday.

The gas company is considering assets ranging from exploration to energy sales in Italy and abroad, Medvedev said in an interview with the newspaper. Eni, Italy's biggest oil company, and Enel, the country's largest utility, gave Gazprom an option to buy assets after winning an auction that included 20 percent of Gazprom Neft, Siberian gas producers ArcticGaz and Urengoil. (Bloomberg)

Prosecutors Review Imperial

Prosecutors will review whether three state forestry units broke the law in preparing a route for Imperial Energy's west Siberian oil pipeline, the Natural Resources Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

A "significant part" of the pipeline lies along fire-protection lanes that were built with government money, the ministry said. Imperial Energy received its permits to build the link in compliance with Russian law, the ministry said, citing a letter from the Tomsk region administration. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Production Dips

Gazprom produced 293 billion cubic meters of gas from October to March, slightly less than in the same period one year earlier, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Gazprom's production during the winter season was down 0.4 percent, the company said. The company said it used 32.4 billion cubic meters from underground storage facilities in Russia, one-third less than in the previous winter, because of abnormally high temperatures across Europe. (Bloomberg)

RusAl IPO Wanted Fast

VIENNA -- Oleg Deripaska said Thursday that the planned initial public offering of his aluminum producer, United Company RusAl, would come "in the nearest future."

"We have a partnership agreement and it states that we will turn RusAl to an IPO as quickly as possible," Deripaska told a news conference in Vienna. "It will happen in the nearest future as far as I am concerned." (Reuters)

Highveld Bid Approved

JOHANNESBURG -- An offer by steelmaker Evraz Group, partly owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich, for control of Anglo American's Highveld Steel & Vanadium was approved by South Africa's highest anti-monopoly regulator.

The Competition Tribunal, the final arbiter in South African mergers and acquisitions, approved the offer on condition that Highveld sell an interest in Mapochs Mine and Vanchem plants, the tribunal said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Markets Facing Closure

Up to 10 percent of the country's retail markets will be closed down after the ongoing re-registration exercise is completed, said the country's chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.

According to a new law on retail trade effective from April 11, all outdoor markets in the country must be re-registered or brought in line with strict sanitation and technical standards. Onishchenko said that although the re-registration drive was still in process, it was clear that 10 percent of the present markets would be shut down because they did not meet standards required by the new regulations. (MT)

S7 Orders 10 Boeing Planes

S7, the country's second-biggest airline, ordered 10 Boeing single-aisle planes valued at $700 million at list prices to help meet surging demand for tourist travel from the country's 143 million people, the carrier said Thursday.

The charter unit of S7, formerly known as Sibir Airlines, signed a contract to receive four of Boeing's 787-800 models in 2010 and six in 2011, the carrier said. S7 has an option for another 10 planes. (Bloomberg)

Aeroflot to Raise Dividends

Aeroflot will pay 1.4 billion rubles ($54.5 million) in dividends for 2006, 56 percent more than last year, Interfax reported Thursday, citing unidentified government officials.

Aeroflot will boost the payout to 1.28 rubles per share from 0.82 rubles one year earlier, the news service reported. (Bloomberg)

WBD Plans Acquisitions

Dairy and juice producer Wimm-Bill-Dann may spend more than $1 billion on acquisitions to help it double revenue in three years, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Wimm-Bill-Dann is considering buying producers of any foods it does not make, chairman David Yakobashvili said. It plans to use cash and borrowings for acquisitions, Yakobashvili said, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Alfa Bank Profits Rise

Alfa Bank said 2006 profit rose 5.4 percent to $190.3 million.

Assets increased 55 percent to $15.2 billion, the lender said in a statement Thursday. The bank's capital rose to $1.3 billion from $856 million. Alfa Bank's outstanding loans advanced 64 percent to $9.8 billion as of Dec. 31. (Bloomberg)

Prokhorov Seeks Manager

Mikhail Prokhorov may hire Dmitry Razumov, one of his former deputies at Norilsk Nickel, to manage his assets after his split with Vladimir Potanin, Vedomosti said Thursday, citing unidentified people close to Prokhorov.

Razumov, 32, was deputy chief executive at Norilsk Nickel from 2002 to 2005, before leaving to set up an investment and consulting business, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

CapitaLand in Russia

SINGAPORE -- CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's largest developer, said it would take a 10 percent stake in Russia's Eurasia Logistics, a builder of logistics properties, and that the venture that might set up a property trust.

Eurasia Logistics has a five-year plan to invest $3 billion to develop 16 logistics properties in countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, CapitaLand said in a statement Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Cherkizovo Profits Increase

Meat producer Cherkizovo Group said profit almost doubled last year as the company expanded its poultry operations.

Net income climbed to $33.2 million from $17.3 million one year earlier, the company said Thursday. Sales rose 16 percent to $630 million. (Bloomberg)

Africa Israel May Up Price

Africa Israel Investments, a holding company controlled by Israeli diamond billionaire Lev Leviev, may increase the price of shares it is selling in its Russian real estate unit, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

The first orders from the underwriters of the share sale show increased demand for AFI Development stock at the current top price, the paper said, without citing where it got the information. (Bloomberg)