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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Foreign Car Sales Rise 68%

Sales of foreign car brands in Russia rose 68 percent in May to 140,595 units, figures compiled by the Association of European Businesses in the Russian Federation showed Friday.

Chevrolet led the pack, with monthly sales up 82 percent year on year to 16,192 units, including cars produced by its Russian venture, GM-AvtoVAZ. U.S. rival Ford sold 13,736 cars in May, up 115 percent year on year. (Reuters)

Usmanov Gets $2Bln Credit

VTB Group, which raised $8 billion in a share sale in May, agreed to open a credit line of 50 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) to billionaire Alisher Ismanov's Gazmetall for expansion plans, Kommersant reported Friday.

The VTB board approved a seven-year facility with paper of gas producers Tambeyneftegaz and Yamal SPG as security, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.

Analysts up until now had thought Gazprom controlled the two companies, Kommersant said. (Bloomberg)

Comstar Secures Loan

Fixed-line telecoms firm Comstar said Friday that it had secured a 26 billion ruble ($1.01 billion) five-year credit facility with Sberbank partly to refinance old debt.

Comstar, owned by services conglomerate Sistema, said in a statement that the loan would be repaid at a fixed annual rate of 7.6 percent and would also be used to expand the company's telecoms network. (Reuters)

Severstal to Build Pipe Plant

Steelmaker Severstal will invest $109 million to build a new pipe plant in the Sheksna industrial area near its main steel works, the company said Friday.

The pipe plant, close to Severstal's base of Cherepovets, home of the country's second-largest stand-alone steel plant, is expected to start operating in the second quarter of 2009, the company said in a statement. Severstal expects the plant to reach full capacity in the middle of 2010. (Reuters)

Chelyabinsk Buys Brock

Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant, producer of 60 percent of the country's zinc, acquired Britain's Brock Metal to access Europe's lucrative light-metal alloy market.

Chelyabinsk paid Alumasc Group ?8.15 million ($16.1 million) for Brock, a producer of zinc and aluminum die-casting alloys, making it the Russian company's first acquisition outside the former Soviet Union, Chelyabinsk said Friday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Sistema Buys Back Stock

Billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema holding company will buy back its stock for $150 million under an option plan for management, the company said in a statement Friday.

Sistema will pay $1,350 per share, the company said. The shares may also be used for future acquisitions, it said. Sistema said it also bought six months reverse convertible certificates for American Depositary Receipts of mobile phone operator Mobile TeleSystems, which it controls, for $50 million. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Fails to Report Spill

Rosneft failed to report on time an oil spill in Siberia that occurred last month, the Federal Service for the Inspection of Natural Resources Use said Friday.

RN-Yuganskneftegaz, Rosneft's oil-producing unit, spilled 200 to 400 tons of crude from a pipeline at the Malobalykskoye field in the Khanty-Mansiisk region on May 20, the agency said Friday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Bovis Lend Lease Wins Deal

Bovis Lend Lease International, a unit of Australia's biggest real estate company, won a contract to manage the construction of a business center for Gazprom, the gas company's oil branch said in a statement Friday.

Bovis will control the costs, safety and deadlines of the Okhta Center project, previously called Gazprom-City, in St. Petersburg, Gazprom Neft said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Wins Polish Case

WARSAW -- The Warsaw-based Appeals Court ruled in favor of Gazprom, upholding an earlier Polish court decision that the 2006 gas transit prices charged by Europol GAZ were invalid, Polish newspaper Parkiet reported Friday, citing court documents.

Europol GAZ operates the Polish segment of a gas pipeline carrying Russian gas to Western Europe. Gazprom and Poland's Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe each hold 48 percent of the company. (Bloomberg)

VSMPO-Avisma's Profits Up

YEKATERINBURG -- Titanium maker VSMPO-Avisma said Friday that its 2005 net income rose 48.4 percent to $74.6 million.

The company, which supplies companies including Boeing and Airbus, gives its annual financial results to generally accepted accounting principles with a one-year delay. (Reuters)