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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Eni Wants to Keep Stake

Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni wants to keep a 20 percent stake in Gazprom Neft, which Gazprom has an option to buy, Corriere della Sera reported him as saying Sunday.

Eni agreed to buy the stake, which belonged to Yukos, earlier this month. Gazprom has the right to buy the stake for $3.7 billion plus transaction costs in the next two years. Eni will seek to convince Gazprom that "it's in its best interest to keep us involved," Scaroni told Corriere. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Raises $2Bln Loan

Gazprom raised $2 billion in syndicated loans to help pay for a controlling stake in Shell's Sakhalin-2 project, Interfax reported Friday, citing an unidentified banker.

Two loans of $1 billion each were organized by Societe Generale and ABN Amro Holding, Interfax reported. Gazprom needs the money to pay $7.45 billion for a controlling 50 percent plus one share stake in the Sakhalin-2 project, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft to Fill Half Pipeline

Rosneft plans to fill 50 percent of a new oil pipeline to Asia from its Vankor project, Interfax reported Friday, citing vice president Alexei Kuznetsov.

Rosneft will start pumping oil from Vankor next year and provide the Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline with half of its capacity by 2014, the agency cited Kuznetsov as saying Friday. Kuznetsov said the company was considering building an oil refinery at Skovorodino, the terminus of the pipeline's first segment close to the Chinese border, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

TNK-BP's Caspian Checks

TNK-BP may be in violation of environmental legislation at two prospects on the Caspian Sea, the Natural Resources Ministry said Friday.

The state environmental inspectorate will check for possible violations at the North Vatazhny and Kirikilinsky prospects after receiving a complaint from the WWF, the ministry said in a statement Friday. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Profit Increases

Sberbank increased profit 19 percent in the first quarter this year under Russian accounting standards, Interfax reported Friday.

Net income reached 25.9 billion rubles ($1 billion) from 21.8 billion rubles in the same period one year earlier, Interfax said, citing a statement on the bank's web site.

Sberbank's profit in 2006 under Russian standards rose to 89.3 billion rubles, up 42 percent compared with the previous year, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Sky Express' New Service

Low-budget airline Sky Express will begin a Moscow-St. Petersburg service from May 9, the Prime-Tass news agency reported Friday, citing a company statement.

The airline will have one flight per day on the route and charge upward of 500 rubles, the agency said. The daily number of flights will increase to four by 2008, Prime-Tass reported. (MT)

LUKoil Markets Its Bonds

LUKoil will start marketing a sale of at least $500 million worth of bonds next week, Interfax reported Friday, citing an unidentified company executive.

The company will present its prospectus for the eurobond sale to investors in London on Tuesday, the agency reported. Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are managing the sale, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Turkmen President Visits

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov starts a two-day official visit to Moscow on Monday, Itar-Tass reported Friday.

During the visit, Berdymukhammedov will hold talks with President Vladimir Putin and discuss partnership in the oil and gas sector, as well as in trade and economy, Turkmen state media reported. (MT)

Evraz Abandons Ipsco Bid

CHICAGO -- Steelmaker Evraz Group has decided not to bid for Ipsco because a takeover would be too expensive, SteelWeek magazine reported Thursday, citing an unidentified person at the Russian company.

The decision follows a report by Renaissance Capital, which said Evraz would damage its credit rating by taking on more debt, the magazine reported. Renaissance Capital said Evraz's debt capacity was "seriously limited" after the company made acquisitions in 2006, the magazine said. (Bloomberg)

Sorokina to Work for Lobby

Former NTV talk show host Svetlana Sorokina is set to become press spokeswoman for the country's top business lobby, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Interfax reported Friday.

Sorokina explained her decision saying she needed a permanent place to work: "As you have noticed, it has been a long time since I have worked anywhere. And I have to work."

Sorokina has previously worked as a talk show host on television and on Ekho Moskvy radio station. (MT)

For the Record

Imperial Energy will provide new reserves data to the Natural Resources Ministry as it seeks to retain oil licenses, the Britain-listed company said in a statement Friday. (Bloomberg)

SHANGHAI -- China Metallurgical Group, a state-owned construction company, plans to build a 5 billion yuan ($648 million) pulp mill in Russia to cut China's dependence on overseas supplies. (Bloomberg)