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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Court Rejects Telenor Suit

VimpelCom said a court in Moscow ruled in its favor Monday in a legal battle with its shareholder Telenor over an expansion in Ukraine.

The Ninth Appellate Arbitration Court upheld VimpelCom's purchase of Ukrainian Radio Systems, Ukraine's fourth-largest cellular operator, VimpelCom spokeswoman Yelena Prokhorova said . (Bloomberg)

VTB Plans to Acquire Rosno

VTB Group plans to buy a majority stake in insurer Rosno by July 1, RIA-Novosti said Monday, citing the bank's deputy CEO, Igor Zavyalov.

VTB will buy 50 percent plus one share of the company and will rename it VTB-Rosno, the agency said. Sistema and Allianz currently own 49 percent and 47 percent of Rosno, respectively, RIA-Novosti said. (Bloomberg)

Fridman Eyes Cinema Firm

ISTANBUL -- Billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group plans to buy a majority stake in Turkish movie-theater chain operator AFM Uluslararasi Film Produksiyon Ticaret & Sanayi, the Turkish company said Friday.

Istanbul-based AFM, which operates 157 cinemas in Turkey, signed a letter of intent to sell a majority stake to Alfa Group last week, AFM said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Toyota Receives Bank Permit

Toyota received a banking license in Russia to help customers finance car purchases, the Central Bank said in a statement posted on its web site Monday.

Toyota Bank received a license to conduct transactions in rubles and in foreign currencies on June 21, the Central Bank said. The license does not allow the bank to accept individual deposits. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Begins Smelter Work

Aluminum producer United Company RusAl said Monday it has started building a new smelter in the Irkutsk region that would add 750,000 tons of capacity per year.

The $2 billion Taishet smelter, which is being built in stages, will start production in November 2009 and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011, RusAl said. (Reuters)

LionOre Buy Gets Approval

Norilsk Nickel received approval from South Africa's antitrust authority for its bid for Canada's LionOre Mining International.

"The Competition Commission concluded that Norilsk Nickel's all-cash offer to the shareholders of LionOre was not likely to prevent substantially or lessen competition," Norilsk said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Nokian to Expand Plant

HELSINKI -- Finnish tire maker Nokian Renkaat said Monday it had signed a deal to expand its St. Petersburg plant, aiming to reach capacity of 10 million tires per year in 2011.

Nokian Renkaat said Finnish construction firm Lemminkainen had won the expansion deal, without disclosing its value. (Reuters)

Energia Fires Head

Rocket & Space Corp. Energia, the company that is responsible for the Russian part of the International Space Station, dismissed its CEO, Nikolai Sevastyanov, Vedomosti reported Monday.

The company's board of directors removed Sevastyanov from his position three days ago for championing a development proposal that was not compatible with space agency Roskosmos's plans, Vedomosti said, citing Nikolai Moiseev, chairman of Energia's board. (Bloomberg)

Sherbovich Quits Deutsche?

Ilya Sherbovich, Deutsche Bank's head of investment banking in Russia, is planning to leave the company and start his own investment group, Financial News reported Monday, citing an unidentified person close to the matter.

He will leave the German bank with $200 million in stock and compensation when his contract runs out in 2008, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Business Body's New Chief

Frank Schauff, a former foreign policy adviser to the Social Democratic Party of Germany, was named CEO of the Association of European Businesses in Russia, the lobby group said Monday.

Schauff, who studied at Volgograd State University during the Soviet era, has a master's degree in Russian political and economic history from the London School of Economics, the association said Monday in a statement. He replaces Andreas Romanos. (Bloomberg)

Itera Mulls Turkmen Plant

Natural gas producer Itera plans to build a $600 million carbamide plant in Turkmenistan, the company's chairman Igor Makarov said, Itar-Tass new agency reported Monday.

Makarov completed the agreement in a recent meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the agency said. They also negotiated the possibility of building gas pipelines and the development of offshore fields in the country, Itar-Tass said. (MT)

Pipe Maker Eyes S. America

Stroitransgaz, a Russian pipeline maker, may help build a link that would carry natural gas across South America, CEO Leonid Bokhanovsky said Monday.

Bokhanovsky discussed building the pipeline and other energy facilities in Brazil with Sergio Machado, the head of Petroleo Brasileiro's transportation unit, Transpetro, at a meeting in Moscow, the company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Georgia Power Station Sale

TBILISI -- Georgia plans to auction off its oldest hydropower station at a starting price of $15 million, a senior official at the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Monday.

"We are going to sell 100 percent of the Zahesi station," said Ilya Gotsiridze, head of the privatization department at the ministry. The auction will be held on July 19. (Reuters)

For the Record

Sistema got one director elected to the board of Sibirtelecom, a unit of state-controlled phone monopoly Svyazinvest, Novosibirsk-based Sibirtelecom said Monday on its web site. (Bloomberg)

Polymetal said Monday net income rose to $61.7 million last year, from $17.6 million in 2005. Sales increased by 32 percent to $315.6 million. (Bloomberg)

VTB bank has supplied a 50 billion ruble ($1.93 billion) loan to steel and iron ore firm Gazmetall, the bank's deputy chairman was quoted as saying Monday by Prime-Tass news agency. (Reuters)

X5 Retail Group, the country's largest supermarket company, named Jacquot Boelen, former head of Royal Ahold's Central European unit, as head of operations in Ukraine. (Bloomberg)