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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

VTB IPO 'Oversubscribed'

The initial public offering book of VTB is already oversubscribed, market sources said Saturday.

State-owned VTB intends to float 22.5 percent of its shares in Moscow and London. Pricing of the deal, which if fully taken up at the top of the range would raise $8.4 billion, is expected on May 11. That would make the IPO Russia's largest this year, and the third-largest equity fundraising overall after Rosneft's $10.6 billion float last year and Sberbank's recent $8.9 billion rights issue. (Reuters)

Pulkovo Airport Tender

St. Petersburg will call a tender to offer a concession to run its Pulkovo airport, seeking in exchange $1 billion in investments, an official said Saturday.

"We want to have the tender results in December 2008. I hope we will have the World Bank as our consultant," Deputy Governor Yury Molchanov said.

He said the winner of the concession would have to invest 80 percent of the airport's total need of 30 billion rubles ($1.17 billion). (Reuters)

Polish Cattle Ban Lifted

Russia lifted its embargo on imports of breeding cattle from Poland, the Agriculture Ministry's veterinary watchdog said in a statement Tuesday, Interfax reported.

The ban on meat products from Poland will remain in place, the agency said. Russia barred Polish meat imports in 2005, citing health concerns. (MT)

Tatneft Dividend Hike

The board of mid-sized oil firm Tatneft has recommended hiking dividends by 460 percent and paying 4.6 rubles per share for 2006, the company said in a statement Monday.

The proposed dividend, payable on both preferred and ordinary shares, will be submitted to shareholders for a vote at the firm's annual general meeting on June 29. Last month the firm's chairman, Rustam Minnikhanov, flagged the enormous dividend rise by saying all state firms in the region should pay out 30 percent of net profit in the next two years. (Reuters)

Acertec Planning New Plant

Engineering firm Acertec is planning to invest $60 million on the construction of a new plant in St. Petersburg, the Financial Times reported Monday.

The company's interest in Russia is based on growing investments in the country of major global carmakers, such as General Motors, Toyota and Nissan, the newspaper reported.

The factory could employ about 200 people by 2010, the Financial Times said. Under plans for the plant, production at the factory could increase to $60 million per year by 2012, the newspaper said. (MT)

Polyus to Pay First Dividend

Gold miner Polyus Gold will pay $24 million for its first-ever dividend, for 2006, a small fraction of its $1 billion earnings in the first half of the year alone, the company said in a statement Saturday.

The company said a dividend of 3.23 rubles per share for 2006 had been cleared by its board for approval at its general meeting on June 29. (Reuters)

Cukurova Debt Repayment

Turkey's Cukurova Group is seeking new financing to repay all of its outstanding debt to Alfa Group before it matures, the Turkish company said in a statement Monday.

Earlier this month, Alfa opened a court case against Cukurova claiming that the Turkish firm had defaulted on outstanding debt of $1.35 billion, which is backed by an indirect stake in Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell.

Cukurova says it has paid $357 million in principal and $217 million in interest and denies any default on payments on its debt, which is due in full by 2011. (Reuters)

VimpelCom on Ukraine

VimpelCom CEO Alexander Izosimov said his company would not give up its Ukrainian business despite current losses, Vedomosti reported Saturday.

"Of course we aren't leaving; we will stay in Ukraine. The impact of Ukraine's losses on our operations is quite small overall," Izosimov told Vedomosti.

VimpelCom reported a net loss of $21.5 million and a loss before taxes, interest and amortization of $10.5 million in its Ukrainian operations during the fourth quarter of 2006. (Reuters)

WBD Baby Food Factory

NEW YORK -- Beverage and dairy producer Wimm-Bill-Dann on Monday said it had opened a baby food factory in the Kursk region.

Wimm-Bill-Dann bought the plant in 2005, renovated the facility and said it would expand its juice and puree businesses under the Agusha brand. Shares rose 95 cents to $81.43 in midday trading on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (AP)

Alternative Druzhba Plan

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Croatia has drafted an alternative that might salvage the doomed Druzhba-Adria pipeline project, planned to link Russian oil fields with the Adriatic, a top economy ministry official said Monday.

Zeljko Tomsic, assistant economy minister in charge of energy policies, said the draft proposal had been presented to the other countries involved, but had yet to win their approval. Croatia has all but scrapped the Druzhba-Adria project due to environmental concerns. (Reuters)

EU Woos Georgia on Energy

BRUSSELS -- The European Union stressed Georgia's growing importance as a transit country for oil and gas from the Caspian Sea region at talks Monday as the EU sought to reduce dependency on energy imports from Russia.

EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said his talks with Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili focused on the development of transport routes through Georgia for oil and gas shipped westward from the Caspian Sea region, notably through the port of Baku, the capital of neighboring Azerbaijan. (AP)

Tata Strikes Binbank Deal

MUMBAI, India -- India's top software services exporter, Tata Consultancy Services, has signed a multimillion-dollar deal to supply software to Russia's Binbank, helping the company's shares rise as much as 2.9 percent, the Indian company said Monday.

"Our entry into the Russian Federation is part of a long-term growth plan in the region," Ganapathy Subramaniam, head of banking practice at Tata Consultancy, said in a statement. (Reuters)

Urals Set for London Return

LONDON -- Russia-focused oil and gas group Urals Energy said Monday that it would return to London markets to raise more cash for acquisitions -- despite increasing government pressure on private firms.

The company's CFO, Steve Buscher, said the firm was still targeting large acquisitions, and would try to fund them by issuing more shares.

"If we found a likely acquisition we are very confident we can go back to the market," he said. "There is appetite from existing and new shareholders who would like us to be more liquid," he added. (Reuters)

Tajiks Seek Investment

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon confirmed on Monday that his government would seek $1.3 billion in foreign investment to complete a hydroelectric plant that had been earmarked as a Russian project.

The Rogun hydroelectric plant, started in the Soviet era but never completed, is key to the impoverished mountainous Central Asian state's aim to become a significant electricity exporter. (Reuters)