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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Ruble Gains 3% in Q1

The ruble strengthened a "more than expected" 3 percent in the first quarter, Interfax cited Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov as saying at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

The ruble's gain was caused by capital inflow into Russia, the agency cited Zhukov as telling Putin. The government should "pay attention" to the ruble's strengthening, Putin said, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

MMK Sets IPO Range

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, or MMK, Monday set the price range for its international share float at $12.25 to $15.50 per global depositary receipt.

MMK already has a small free float in Russia, but plans to issue GDRs, each equivalent to 13 ordinary shares, in London and ordinary shares, with a price range of $0.94 to $1.19 in Russia. MMK aims to raise around $1 billion through the offering of new shares, a banking source said. (Reuters)

Gazprom Secures Utility

Gazprom will secure control over Mosenergo through the purchase of an additional share offering worth $2.1 billion, it said in a statement issued after a board meeting Friday.

The gas giant, which already owns 19.87 percent in the power utility, said it would buy the entire offering of 11.5 billion new shares being undertaken by Mosenergo.

"As a result of … participating in the share offering Gazprom will consolidate its control over Mosenergo," the statement said. (Reuters)

OGK-6 Cuts Power Output

Wholesale power generator OGK-6, with plants in eastern Russia, cut electricity output by 18.5 percent to 7.7 billion kilowatt hours in the first quarter because of warmer-than-normal weather.

The company, one of six natural gas- and coal-fired wholesale generators in Russia, generated 9.5 billion kilowatt hours one year earlier, OGK-6 said Monday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Tatar Sell Off State Assets

LONDON -- Tatarstan is considering raising around $4.94 billion by selling state-owned companies, a newspaper said Monday.

"Our region is … home to some of the best companies in Russia. We want to open these up to attract foreign capital now, to help them compete in the global economy," the Times of London quoted Rustam Minnikhanov, prime minister of the republic, as saying. (Reuters)

Motorola Tops Sales List

Mobile phone retailer Yevroset said Monday that its first quarter sales rose 49 percent year-on-year to $1.3 billion, led by sales of Motorola handsets.

Yevroset sold 3.1 million mobile phones in the quarter, up 35 percent from one year earlier. Of the total, Motorola accounted for 25.1 percent, Samsung 20.7 percent and Sony Ericsson 15.7 percent. Global market leader Nokia lagged with 10.5 percent of sales. (Reuters)

Renova Raises $180M

Renova Capital Advisors, linked to metals tycoon Viktor Vekselberg's Renova group, said Monday that it had completed a first round of fundraising for a new retail sector fund.

Renova Capital Advisors said in a statement that it had raised $180 million from investors in March for its Russian Retail Growth Fund, which is expected to have a final volume of $300 million and to run for five years. (Reuters)

Gazprom's Telecoms Buy

A unit of Gazprom bought 25 percent of Rostelecom, the country's former long-distance telephone monopoly, as the government debates selling its holdings in telephone companies, Vedomosti reported Monday.

KIT Finance, a Moscow-based brokerage, acquired the shares for Leader, Gazprom's pension fund, the newspaper cited a Rostelecom official as saying. KIT bought 35 percent of Rostelecom common shares and 6 percent of preferred, Vedomosti cited Valery Yashin, the former head of Rostelecom's parent company, Svyazinvest, as saying. (Bloomberg)

LNG Project Faces Delay

SINGAPORE -- Gazprom may face a delay in gaining a majority stake in the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas project because of disagreements with project partners led by Royal Dutch Shell over environmental damages, the International Oil Daily said Monday, citing a Gazprom official.

Gazprom wants to insert a clause in the contract that would free the gas group from all responsibility for alleged environmental violations at the project, the report said, citing Gazprom board member Bogdan Budzulyak. (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Oil Output May Fall

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan's daily oil output may fall this month after jumping 11 percent in the first quarter of this year as Central Asia's largest oil exporter builds pipelines to China.

Output of crude oil and gas condensate reached 16.6 million tons in the first quarter of the year, Amantai Suyesinov, deputy head of the Kazakh Energy Ministry's oil department, said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom, Sibur Plant

Sibur and Gazprom are planning to build a plastics plant near Orenburg in southern Russia, Gazprom said in a press release Monday.

The plant will produce 450,000 tons of polypropylene and 650,000 tons of polyethylene per year, the statement said. A feasibility study is being conducted and work on the plant is expected to begin in 2008, the statement added. (Bloomberg)

Kharyaga to Get $119M

The government approved spending $119 million for Total's Kharyaga oil and gas project in 2006, the Industry and Energy Ministry said Monday.

The money was approved as a refundable expenditure. Russia earned $169.1 million from the project, one of three product-sharing agreements in the country. Of that, $107 million is from production, $41 million from profit tax and $21.1 million from royalties. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

PricewaterhouseCoopers has won a tender to carry out auditing for Gazprom, RIA-Novosti reported Monday. The deal will be completed after the gas firm's annual shareholders' meeting at the end of June. (MT)

Unified Energy Systems' Inter RAO unit plans to create an energy retail company with Rosoboronexport, Interfax reported Monday, citing Yevgeny Dod, Inter RAO's general director. The new company's clients will be units of Rosoboronexport. (Bloomberg)

Nutrinvestholding, which controls one of the country's largest dairy and baby food producers, plans to sell shares in an initial public offering. (Bloomberg)