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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Inflation Reaches 6.3%

Inflation, since the start of the year to July 16 in Russia, reached 6.3 percent, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said Thursday.

The rate fell 0.3 percent in comparison with the same period last year, Ignatyev said. Consumer prices for the first 16 days of July rose 0.6 percent, an increase on last year's 0.4 percent, he said. (Bloomberg)

Reserves Reach $411.2Bln

Foreign currency and gold reserves rose to $411.2 billion in the week ending on July 13, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The reserves, the world's third biggest, rose by $2.8 billion after rising $2.4 billion in the previous week, the bank said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

New Alfa Bank CEO

Alfa Bank, the country's biggest privately owned lender, on Thursday appointed Rushan Khvesyuk CEO.

Khvesyuk, currently the executive board's chairman, will replace Pyotr Smida, who held the post since February 2004, and will combine the two positions, Alfa Bank said in an e-mailed statement.

Smida will become first deputy chairman of the board of directors, Alfa Bank said. (Bloomberg)

VTB Won't Sell EADS Stake

State-controlled bank VTB is not interested in selling its 5 percent stake in European aerospace company EADS at the current price, CEO Andrei Kostin said Thursday.

"I would wait," Kostin told reporters. "I would like to see the level noticeably higher than it is now." (Reuters)

Rosneft Offers Buyout

Rosneft has offered to buy out minority shareholders in about 10 recently acquired subsidiaries, Vedomosti said Thursday, citing an unidentified source.

On Wednesday, Rosneft offered 3.1 rubles (12 cents) a share for its East Siberian Oil and Gas Company unit, valuing the company at about $50 million, Vedomosti said.

In total, Rosneft's offer to minority shareholders in the units amounts to about 1.5 billion rubles ($60 million), the report said. (Bloomberg)

Vostok Eyes Gazprom Boost

STOCKHOLM -- Vostok Gas is borrowing money to raise its stake in Gazprom, Dagens Industri reported Thursday, citing individuals with knowledge of the plan.

Vostok Gas, which was spun off from Vostok Nafta Investment this year to focus on the Gazprom holding, will raise its stake in Gazprom to 1.5 percent from 1.34 percent, the Swedish business daily said. The company will borrow 3 billion kronor ($451 million) to fund the $400 million investment, Dagens Industri said. (Bloomberg)

SUEK Sales Drop 12%

Siberian Coal & Energy, the country's largest supplier of coal for power plants, said domestic sales fell 12 percent to 28.2 million tons of coal in the first half of this year as it sent more of the fuel abroad, the company said in a statement Thursday.

SUEK, as the company is also known, sold 41 million tons of coal in the period, a 5 percent drop in total sales and less than the company mined, the statement said. Exports, mainly to Britain, Japan, Korea, and Finland, were 15 percent higher than the previous year. (Bloomberg)

Rostelecom Net Profit Up

Long-distance telecoms provider Rostelecom said Thursday that its net profit rose 49 percent in 2006, helped by an increase in traffic.

Net profits, to international financial reporting standards, increased to 1.46 billion rubles ($57.39 million) from 0.98 billion rubles in 2005, the company said. Revenues also rose by around 50 percent to stand at 61.56 billion rubles, compared with 40.96 billion rubles in 2005. (Reuters)

Druzhba Pipe Repaired

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Damage to the Druzhba pipeline has been repaired and it is now ready to transport crude oil to Lithuania's Mazeikiu Nafta refinery, Interfax reported Thursday, citing an unidentified company official.

A request to resume transit is needed before crude can flow again, Interfax said.

A pipeline accident in July 2006 cut off supplies to Mazeikiu, the only oil refinery in the Baltic states. (Bloomberg)

Pipeline Catches Fire

Gazprom Neft, the oil producing unit of Gazprom, said one of its oil pipelines caught fire in western Siberia, spokeswoman Natalia Vyalkina said Wednesday.

The pipeline, connecting an oil field developed by Sibneft-Noyabrskneftegaz to a larger pipeline, was set alight by a forest fire, Vyalkina said. The fire should not cut the company's oil production, she said. (Bloomberg)

Krasnodar Port Planned

Russia may spend 30 billion rubles ($1.18 billion) on a planned dry-cargo port in the Krasnodar region in an effort to divert Russian coal and container shipping from Ukraine, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Russia wants to reduce cargo transit through neighboring countries and "needs to build its own port near Taman," First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said last week, Vedomosti reported. (Bloomberg)

Aston Sells Wheat to Tunisia

Aston Agro-Industrial, a Russian grain trader, said it would sell $6.5 million of wheat to Tunisia, the company said in a statement on its web site.

The company will deliver 25,000 tons of wheat from Kazakhstan to the North African country by the end of July, it said. Aston won a tender from Tunisia's Office des Cereales in June, the company's spokeswoman Yevgenia Petrova said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Pirelli Tyre Eyes Russia

SLATINA, Romania -- Pirelli Tyre could look at acquisitions in India and Russia, the head of Pirelli, which controls the tire maker, said Thursday, as the company also announced growth plans in Eastern Europe.

"We are looking at Russia as an interesting market," Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera said. (Reuters)

Channels Chided for Erotica

Satellite television operators have started to drop erotic clips from their nightly shows under pressure from the Federal Service for Mass Media, Telecommunications and the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Cable channel operators Corbina and cable network NTV+ said they had received written warnings to tone down the explicit content of their output, the paper reported.

Cable television providers have complained that the service's actions could jeopardize a multimillion-dollar business in "late night erotic shows" if it extends its sanctions to all paid cable channels, Kommersant said. (MT)