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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom to Raise Prices

Gazprom counts on selling 6 billion cubic meters of gas inside Russia at newly approved higher prices in 2007, and up to 11 bcm in 2008, company officials said Wednesday.

Last month, the Russian government approved a bill under which prices for new industrial customers will exceed the gradually rising price scale for existing customers by 60 percent from July 1, 2007 and by 50 percent in 2008. (Reuters)

Highveld Offer Blocked?

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Evraz Group's offer for the shares of Highveld Steel & Vanadium it does not already own may be blocked by the company's largest minority shareholders, Business Report said Wednesday.

Evraz probably will not obtain enough support for its bid of $11.4 per share for Highveld, the Johannesburg-based newspaper cited Nick van Rensburg, an executive director of Peregrine Capital, as saying. (Bloomberg)

Kopeika Adds Supermarkets

Trading House Kopeika, the country's fourth-largest supermarket chain by sales, added 10 stores last month to raise the total number to 383, the company said Wednesday.

Outlets opened in a number of cities, including Moscow, Vladimir and Smolensk, the operator of discount food stores said. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk's Pollution Woes

The head of the government's industrial watchdog attacked Norilsk Nickel on Wednesday for failing to control pollution, Prime-Tass news agency reported.

"We know pollution in the Norilsk area significantly exceeds acceptable standards, and right now there are quite a number of environmental complaints lodged against the company," said Konstantin Pulikovsky, head of the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Atomic Inspection. (MT)

Azeris to Hike Oil Output

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Azerbaijan will double crude output in four years, Rovnag Abdullayev, head of the Caspian nation's state oil company, said Wednesday.

Azeri oil production will reach 65 million tons in 2010, up from 32.3 million tons in 2006, Abdullayev told an oil industry conference in Baku. Natural gas production in 2008 will rise by one-third to 8 billion cubic meters, compared with 5.9 bcm last year, he said. (Bloomberg)

Sistema Plans Retail Chain

The telecommunications arm of Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema holding is planning to set up a mobile retail chain by the end of the year, said the company's general director for strategy, Sergei Baida, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The chain, which will initially bear the brand of Sistema-owned Mobile TeleSystems, will retail mobile phones and accessories to compete with current market leaders Svyaznoi and Yevroset. (MT)

Air Liquide Wins Deals

PARIS -- Air Liquide has won two agreements from Mikron, Russia's largest chip maker, to provide it with gases and facilities for the electronics industry, the French industrial gases company said Wednesday.

The first deal is a long-term contract of carrier gases, such as nitrogen, oxygen or argon, and the second one covers the sale of equipment and turnkey installation of electronic specialty gases, and various materials. (Reuters)

Cyprus Bank Seeks Buys

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Bank of Cyprus is considering an acquisition in Ukraine as it seeks to expand further into emerging markets, its chief executive officer said Wednesday.

"We are considering our entry to the Ukrainian market through an acquisition," CEO Andreas Eliades said at an annual shareholders' meeting in Nicosia. He did not give details on the potential target. (Reuters)

Black Sea Road Funding

Russia will pour 300 billion rubles ($11.6 billion) into a joint project to build a highway circling the Black Sea, Transportation Minister Igor Levitin said Wednesday, Prime-Tass news agency reported.

The highway is penciled to run through 12 countries, including Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia.

In April, the government gave its approval to a tentative international memorandum of understanding to construct the highway. (MT)

Coal Exports to Drop

LONDON -- Coal exports are likely to start falling from 2009 to 2010 in favor of domestic demand, Igor Gribanovsky, a director of SUEK, the country's second-largest coal exporter, said Wednesday.

Russia has the highest coal cash costs in the world -- the cost of mining coal and transporting it to an export point. (Reuters)