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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Polyus Gold Shares Jump

The shares of the country's largest gold firm Polyus Gold jumped more than 5 percent Friday as traders cited a report that stated diamond giant Alrosa could buy a stake in Polyus.

"Alrosa has received an offer from Polyus' shareholders to buy a stake in the gold producer. Talks are at a preliminary stage," Interfax quoted a source as saying.

A Polyus Gold spokesman declined to comment. (Reuters)

Oil Fund Nears $117Bln

The stabilization fund rose to $116.9 billion in May as the world's biggest energy exporter benefited from high prices of oil, the Finance Ministry said on its web site Friday.

The fund rose 2.8 percent from $113.7 billion in April, the ministry said. The fund held $51.4 billion, 39.9 billion euros ($53.6 billion) and ?6 billion ($11.9 billion) on June 1. (Bloomberg)

Aeroflot Presses Alitalia Bid

Aeroflot remains interested in buying part of the Italian government's stake in Alitalia, after U.S. buyout firm TPG dropped out of the bidding, spokeswoman Irina Dannenberg said Friday.

"Aeroflot intends to participate further in the purchase of Alitalia," Dannenberg said. Aeroflot plans to submit a business plan for Alitalia by the July 2 deadline, she said. (Bloomberg)

Aircraft Orders Set to Soar

Domestic orders for military aircraft products will outstrip exports in the next the few years, United Aircraft Corporation CEO Alexei Fyodorov said at a news conference Friday, Interfax reported.

"The government has seriously changed its attitude toward aviation production. We are seeing a strong growth in military orders," Fyodorov said, the agency reported. (MT)

Belgrade Aiport Eyed

Sheremetyevo Airport is in negotiations to acquire a stake in Belgrade's Nikola Tesla airport, Sheremetyevo general director Mikhail Vasilenko said Friday, the Prime-Tass news agency reported.

The Belgrade airport, which passenger traffic of 2.5 million people in 2006, is currently seeking to privatize. (MT)

Ivanov Slams Pocket Airlines

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Friday that the country had too many airline companies, Prime-Tass reported.

Airlines also have too few planes in their fleets, he said, adding that carriers "are using their one plane until it breaks into pieces and not bearing responsibility for the safety of passengers." (MT)

Estonian Freight Down

TALLINN, Estonia -- Eesti Raudtee, Estonia's rail-freight carrier, said Friday that cargo traffic from Russia declined by about one-third in May from April amid tensions between the neighboring countries over a former Soviet war memorial.

The number of cargo trains received in Estonia fell to an average 23 trains per day in May from 35.2 trains in April and 32.3 trains one year earlier, Urmas Glase, a spokesman for Eesti Raudtee, said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Luxury Tax Proposed

The A Just Russia faction in the State Duma said Friday that it would submit a bill proposing a hike in taxation on property worth more than 15 million rubles ($580,000), Itar-Tass reported.

The bill, which also has the support of the Communist Party, also includes provision to increase levies on cars, planes, helicopters, and yachts over 2 million rubles in value, and jewelry, paintings and sculptures worth over 300,000 rubles, Itar-Tass said. (MT)

New Job for Pavel Grachyov

Pavel Grachyov, the country's defense minister during the 1994-96 Chechen war, has been appointed chief adviser to the general director of Omsk-based Popov Radio P lant, the plant said Friday.

Grachyov was fired from his post as chief military adviser to Rosoboronexport in April, Interfax reported. Grachyov served as defense minister from 1992 to 1996 and worked at Rosoboronexport from 1997. (MT)

British Nuclear Deal

Nuclear fuel producer and trader TVEL has signed a deal to supply nuclear fuel to a British generator, local media reported Friday, a first breakthrough into the British market for Russia's fast-expanding nuclear sector.

Russia will supply uranium to a plant owned by French company Areva. It will later be supplied to British Energy, RIA-Novosti reported. (Reuters)

U.S. Woos Turkmens on Gas

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- The United States renewed its call on Turkmenistan on Friday to revive talks on a new Caspian Sea gas pipeline that would link Central Asian deposits with Western markets while bypassing Russia.

"We believe it is enough to supply gas into Russia and to do the Trans-Caspian pipeline as well," Steven Mann, a senior U.S. State Department official, told reporters. (Reuters)

Ukraine Coal Exports Down

LONDON -- The chronic shortage of railroad cars to move coal from the Kemerovo mining region in Siberia for export has slashed coal available for export in June from the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny, exporters said.

Exporters said they thought it was likely exports in July and August would also be affected, but they had not yet been informed. (Reuters)