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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

TNK-BP Power Venture

TNK-BP on Friday gained approval from Unified Energy Systems to form a venture and expand capacity at a $950 million power plant at Nizhnevartovsk in the Tyumen region.

UES's board approved the deal after TNK-BP and the plant's owner, OGK-1, increased the value of the plant, CEO Anatoly Chubais said in a conference call Friday.

The decision had been delayed seven weeks after minority investors raised concerns about the structure of the deal and disputed an earlier valuation of $665 million.

OGK-1 has agreed to contribute the power plant to the venture, NVG, for a 70 percent stake, while TNK-BP contributes cash for the rest. The venture will fund a third 800-megawatt gas-fired block at the plant. (Bloomberg)

Moscow Utilities to Merge

The Moscow City Electricity Distribution Co. and Moscow Regional Electricity Network plan to merge to form an interregional entity, Interfax said Thursday, citing an unidentified city official.

City Hall will take a 30 percent stake in the merged company, which will operate power lines in the city and the Moscow region, Interfax said. Vedomosti reported Friday that owner Unified Energy Systems has agreed to the plan. (Bloomberg)

Georgian FDI Passes $1Bln

Foreign direct investment in Georgia increased to $1.14 billion in 2006 from $450 million in 2005, news agency reported Friday, citing figures from Georgia's statistics department.

The biggest investors were Britain ($182.1 million), the United States ($181.9 million), Kazakhstan ($152.3 million) and Turkey ($127.1 million). Russia, which imposed a trade and transport embargo on Georgia last October, was 11th with $27.9 million, down from $38.7 million in 2005. (MT)

VTB Shares Pre-Marketing

VTB Group, the country's second-largest bank, will begin pre-marketing on April 9 for an initial public offering expected to be held just over a month later, a source close to the deal said Friday.

The source said the IPO roadshow would follow two weeks after the start of pre-marketing, with the float expected to take place between May 10 and 12. (Reuters)

Aeroflot to Lease 6 Planes

Aeroflot signed an agreement with Unified Aircraft Corporation to lease six cargo planes.

Aeroflot will receive the first of the Ilyushin-96s in 2008.

The lease is for 15 years, at the end of which the planes will belong to Aeroflot, the company said a statement Friday. (Bloomberg)

Volgotanker Bankruptcy?

The government may bankrupt Volgotanker, once the country's largest river shipping company, because it stopped transporting goods amid tax claims, Vedomosti reported.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov is considering bankrupting the company so it can be transferred to new ownership and resume transporting goods along the nation's rivers, the newspaper cited an unidentified official who works for Ivanov as saying. (Bloomberg)

Altimo Considering IPO

LONDON -- Altimo, the telecommunications unit of Russia's Alfa Group, is considering an initial public offering in London as part of international expansion plans, the London-based Times said, citing an interview with CEO Alexei Reznikovich.

An IPO is a possible alternative to an asset swap with a foreign telecoms company, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Transneft Reports Q4 Loss

State-run oil pipeline operator Transneft reported a fourth-quarter loss of 448 million rubles ($17 million) after changing the route of a planned pipeline across eastern Siberia to China.

Transneft's net profit for 2006 fell 24 percent to 3.5 billion rubles under Russian accounting standards because of the fourth-quarter loss, the company said on its web site Friday. (Bloomberg)

Detsky Mir Plans Expansion

Sistema's Detsky Mir children's store chain announced plans for 10 new hypermarkets to tap higher demand in the country. It also opened its seventh superstore in the country.

Detsky Mir, or Children's World, opened the outlet in Lipetsk, its 33rd city, the company owned by billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov said Friday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Lower Budget Forecast

The government will have a narrower budget surplus this year than previously planned, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The surplus will reach 2.56 percent of gross domestic product, or 785.7 billion rubles ($30.19 billion), the ministry said on its web site. The surplus will be narrower than the 4.8 percent of GDP, or 1.5 trillion rubles, previously forecast, the ministry said. (Bloomberg)

Novolipetsk Sells Coal Unit

Novolipetsk Steel, the country's most profitable producer of the metal, agreed to sell an unprofitable coal unit for $1, one year after buying it for $62 million.

Novolipetsk will part with Prokopiyevskugol, Russia's largest producer of high-grade coking coal, next month, it said Friday in a statement. The city of Prokopiyevsk will pay the steelmaker $1 for an asset it bought from Iskander Makhmudov in March 2006, Novolipetsk said. (Bloomberg)