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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

PwC's Russian License Is Extended for 5 Years

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Russian license was extended for a five-year period starting May 20, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The auditor said in a statement that it was "very pleased with the positive response" to its license renewal application, stressing that it would continue to work in the interests of its clients, "many of which are the largest and most successful companies in Russia."

A Moscow arbitration court last month ruled that PwC had violated professional standards while conducting audits for Yukos from 2002 to 2004 and fined the company $480,000.

PwC said it would appeal the ruling, which it said was unsubstantiated.

The court decision prompted warnings from U.S. government officials that revoking PwC's license could seriously affect the country's economy.

PwC says it audits many of Russia's most prominent businesses, accounting for half of the country's gross domestic product.

Analysts had said the court decision could provide grounds for the Finance Ministry not to renew the auditor's current auditing license.

Despite the ruling, state-run companies Gazprom and Sberbank said earlier this month that they would keep PwC as their auditor.

On April 3, carmaker AvtoVAZ said in a statement that its board would recommend that shareholders replace PwC with Ernst & Young for its 2007 audit.