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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom's Sakhalin Bid

Gazprom wants to become the biggest oil and gas producer off Sakhalin, Interfax reported Thursday, citing deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev.

Gazprom is interested in bidding for the Sakhalin-3 and Sakhalin-4 developments, the agency quoted Medvedev as saying.

The company wants to buy up all the gas produced on the island, including at Sakhalin-1, which is run by Exxon and Rosneft, Interfax said (Bloomberg)

Reserves Pass $400Bln

Foreign currency and gold reserves reached a record $402.2 billion in the week ended May 25, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The reserves, the world's third biggest, advanced $7.9 billion from $394.3 billion in the previous week, the bank said in a statement. The reserves gained $8 billion in the week of May 18. (Bloomberg)

Lithuania Pipe on Hold

The government does not plan to resume oil-pipeline service to a Lithuanian refinery after supplies were halted last year, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said Thursday.

Mazeikiu, the only oil refiner in the Baltic states, has been using more-expensive sea routes to import crude since oil-pipeline monopoly Transneft shut its link to Lithuania. The refinery gets Russian oil by tanker from the port of Primorsk, Khristenko said. (Bloomberg)

E.On May Invest in Russia

FRANKFURT -- Germany's E.On, the world's largest utility, plans to invest 6 billion euros ($8.06 billion) in Turkey, southeastern Europe and the Russian power market, seeking to use its financial clout more efficiently.

Investments of 12 billion euros in new power stations and the takeover of Endesa assets will increase the company's generation capacity by 50 percent by 2010, CEO Wulf Bernotat said Thursday. (Reuters)

Rosinter IPO to Price Low

Restaurant chain Rosinter is likely to price its initial public offering at the lower end of the indicative price range, a source close to the offering said Thursday.

The source said the order book would close later Thursday.

Rosinter is seeking to raise up to $125 million from the IPO, which could value the firm at $372.5 million to $492.5 million. (Reuters)

Novatek Profit Rises

Natural gas company Novatek said Thursday that profit advanced 17 percent in the first quarter as prices and production climbed.

Net income rose to 4.35 billion rubles ($170 million) in the period from 3.72 billion rubles one year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sale jumped 31 percent to 15.25 billion rubles.

The increase in earnings was "due to a combination of increased natural gas and liquids sales volumes and higher prices for natural gas," Novatek said. (Bloomberg)

VTB-24 Sees Big Investment

VTB Group plans to invest 25.6 billion rubles ($1 billion) in its consumer-banking unit VTB-24, Interfax reported Thursday, citing chairman Mikhail Zadornov.

The consumer bank's capital will increase to 17 billion rubles from 12.6 billion rubles, the service cited Zadornov as saying.

VTB raised $8 billion in an initial public offering this month, the largest in the world this year. (Bloomberg)

Australian Uranium Deal

Russia expects to seal an agreement with Australia on uranium production in September, the head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Sergei Kiriyenko said Thursday, RIA-Novosti reported.

Kiriyenko also said Russia would finish creating the state-owned Uranium Mining Company by the middle of next year, the agency said.

The company was founded by state-run nuclear fuel producer TVEL and uranium trader Tenex in November. (MT)

Yevroset Reregisters Firm

Mobile phone retailer Yevroset is reregistering its legal status from a limited liability company to an open joint-stock company, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The company offered no explanation for the change, although market watchers have speculated the move may be related to Yevroset's planned IPO next year, the newspaper said. Yevroset co-owner Timur Artemyev said earlier this year that the company might float a 20 percent to 25 percent stake in Russia or London in 2008. (MT)

Beeline Extends Coverage

Mobile phone company VimpelCom extended its coverage of its mobile phone service in Ukraine to a further 42 cities and more than 1,000 villages in the period from April to May, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Ukrainskiye Radiosistemy, a unit wholly owned by VimpelCom, has been operating mobile services under its Beeline brand in Ukraine since last April. (MT)

Air Astana Plane Order

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Air Astana, a venture between Kazakhstan's government and BAE Systems, plans to double its fleet to 37 planes through 2015 as economic growth in the oil-rich Central Asian state encourages people to travel by air, Kazakh Transport Vice Minister Azat Bekturov said Thursday.

The carrier, which now leases 18 airliners, may sign contracts valued at a total $1.1 billion for nine planes with options for eight more by the end of this year, based on proposals from Airbus and Boeing, he said. (Bloomberg)

Kalina Profit Rises

Perfume and cosmetics maker Kalina announced profit had climbed 3 percent in the first quarter after sales rose, the company said Thursday in a statement.

Net income advanced to 199.2 million rubles ($7.69 million) in the three months ended March 31, from 193.5 million rubles in the year-earlier period, the company said. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil to Sell Bonds

NEW YORK -- LUKoil set the size of its proposed sale of dollar-denominated bonds at $1 billion, a person familiar with the offering said Thursday.

LUKoil's bankers are marketing 10-year notes at 145 basis points more than U.S. Treasuries of similar maturity and 15-year bonds at a yield spread of 175 basis points, said the person, who declined to be identified. (Bloomberg)

Kazakhs Nuclear Fuel Sales

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan's state-owned uranium miner will start selling nuclear fuel to China by 2013, bypassing integrated nuclear companies such as France's Areva, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the miner's head, said Wednesday in an interview

Kazakh nuclear fuel will also be exported to Japan and Europe, Dzhakishev said (Bloomberg)