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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Slavneft Refinery Sale

Oil firm Slavneft said Thursday it planned to sell a 51.86 percent stake in its Yaroslavl refinery, which processes 5,300 barrels of oil per day.

The starting price for the lot, scheduled for sale at a July 16 auction, has been set at 334 million rubles ($12.8 million), the company said. It will accept bids until July 13. (Reuters)

Chavez Seeks Russia Subs

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may buy as many as nine Russian submarines when he visits President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this month, Kommersant reported Thursday, citing an unidentified official at arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

Chavez wants the vessels to break a potential U.S. blockade of Venezuela's offshore oil fields, the newspaper said. The nine vessels are worth about $2 billion. (Bloomberg)

North Korea Funds Transfer

NEW YORK -- Dalnevostochny Bank will participate in transferring North Korean funds frozen in a Macau bank because of U.S. sanctions, Ekho Moskvy radio reported Wednesday, citing Garegin Tosunyan, the president of the Association of Russian Banks.

The United States has agreed to let the bank participate in the transaction, the radio station reported. The bank is based in Vladivostok. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk Port Resumes Work

Metals giant Norilsk Nickel said Thursday that it had begun loading the first cargo ships at its main export outlet, the Arctic port of Dudinka, reopened after a seasonal halt.

"Two ships are being loaded with Norilsk Polar Division's products at the moment," Norilsk said in a statement. (Reuters)

Microsoft Exec to VTB?

Microsoft's Russia chief Olga Dergunova is leaving the company and may join VTB Group, Vedomosti reported Thursday, citing people familiar with her plans.

VTB's board will meet Tuesday to discuss the appointment of two new directors, the newspaper said. Dergunova may be a candidate to fill one of the posts, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

TeliaSonera CEO Out

STOCKHOLM -- TeliaSonera ousted its CEO, Anders Igel, after the telecoms company posted its smallest increase in profit in more than a year and failed to resolve ownership disputes in Turkey and Russia.

Chief financial officer Kim Ignatius will become acting CEO until a replacement is found, TeliaSonera chairman Tom von Weymarn said Tuesday. The search may take six to 12 months, he said. (Bloomberg)

TeliaSonera Eyes Expansion

HELSINKI -- Nordic telecoms operator TeliaSonera is interested in expanding in Central Asia, its director of eastern operations was quoted as saying in a Startel news agency interview on Thursday.

"In Central Asia, we have no operations in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan. We are looking at possibilities to start operations in these countries as well," Tero Kivisaari was quoted as saying. (Reuters)

Economic Zone's First Plant

The country's first factory to open in a special economic zone was inaugurated Thursday in the Lipetsk region, Interfax reported.

"We expect new investments in the area and there is already a line of investors waiting," said Mikhail Mishustin, the head of the Federal Agency for the Management of Special Economic Zones, speaking at the ceremony.

The plant, which will produce glass containers for medicinal goods, is owned by ChSZ-Lipetsk and attracted investments worth 1.3 billion rubles ($50 million), Interfax reported. (MT)

UES Seeks Carbon Funds

National power utility Unified Energy Systems is seeking to raise $1 billion for projects to cut carbon emissions and offset the country's increasing use of coal, as power demand surges, CEO Anatoly Chubais said Thursday.

UES has 40 investment projects to cut emissions, Chubais said. The power industry accounts for 25 percent of all of the country's greenhouse-gas emissions, he said. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Plans $2Bln Loan

Aluminum producer United Company RusAl plans to borrow $2 billion over seven years from a group of foreign banks to refinance its debt, RusAl said Thursday in a statement.

The firm mandated ABN Amro Holding, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Calyon, Citigroup, ING Bank, Natixis and Societe Generale to arrange and underwrite the loan, RusAl said. (Bloomberg)

Comstar Returns to Profit

Fixed-line telecoms operator Comstar returned to profit in the first quarter after one-off charges pushed it into the red in the final period of 2006, the company said Thursday.

Net profits were $43.7 million, up 12 percent year on year and a turnaround from a fourth-quarter net loss of $63.1 million. (Reuters)

Transneft's $5.6Bln Credit

Sberbank will offer a 145 billion ruble ($5.6 billion) credit line to Transneft to finance the first part of an oil pipeline to China.

Oil pipeline monopoly Transneft is building an $11.4 billion pipeline to carry 30 million tons of oil a year across eastern Siberia to Skovorodino on the Chinese border.

The link will be expanded to carry 50 million tons of oil after 2014. (Bloomberg)

5-Month Imports Rise

Russia increased imports from countries outside of the former Soviet Union by 53 percent in the first five months of this year from the year-earlier period, the Federal Customs Service said Thursday.

Imports totaled $56.54 billion from January through May, according to preliminary calculations, the customs office said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

TGK-10 to Sell Bonds

Regional power generation firm TGK-10 said in a statement Thursday that it would start placing a debut three-year bond worth 3 billion rubles ($115 million) on June 21.

TGK-10, which was formed as part of electricity sector reforms, unites power generation assets in the Urals regions of Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Kurgan. (Reuters)

East Capital Stake Sought

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazkommertsbank intends to buy a 50 percent stake in East Capital brokerage, the Kazakh bank said Thursday.

East Capital, currently owned by its management, is a partner of Moskommertsbank, a Russian bank controlled by Kazkommertsbank. Askhat Sagdiyev, the President of East Capital, has also worked as a deputy chief executive of Moskommertsbank. (Reuters)