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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

More TNK-BP Investment



TNK-BP will spend more than $4 billion this year to increase output and expand outside the country.

The company is embarking on an "ambitious program" to turn around its slowing output growth and expand refining, executive director and billionaire shareholder Viktor Vekselberg told reporters Friday. The company has previously said it will spend $3.4 billion this year.

"We even have plans to move to new regions, and that means outside of Russia," Vekselberg said, without elaborating. (Bloomberg)




WTO Deal With Vietnam



Russia has signed a bilateral deal on its World Trade Organization bid with Vietnam, one of the last agreements needed to join the group.

The agreement will boost trade between the two countries, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said in a statement posted on its web site Friday. The agreement simplifies imports of Vietnamese seafood, fruit, spices, silk fabrics and shoes. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom-Media at $7.5 Bln



Gazprom Media, a unit of Russia's state-run gas company, has a value of $7.5 billion, newspaper Vedomosti reported Friday, citing Gazprom Chairman Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev did not say how the media holding had been valued, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom Wins 2 Fields



Gazprom has won the right to produce gas at two fields in northern Russia with reserves of more than 400 billion cubic meters of gas.

Gazprom will be able to develop the Nyakkhobsky and Verkhnekhudoseisky fields in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, the company said Friday. (Bloomberg)




LionOre Board Changes



Norilsk Nickel replaced LionOre Mining International's board with its own representatives after buying 90 percent of the Canadian company last month.

Norilsk deputy CEO Ralph Morgan was appointed chairman of the board, LionOre said in a statement Friday. Norilsk's business development director Thomas Rogers and international general counsel Andrei Zhupanov were also named to the board. (Bloomberg)




M.Video in Talks on Stake



M.Video, Russia's second-largest appliance and electronics retailer, is in talks to sell a stake to Darty, Kesa Electricals' French unit, Kommersant reported Friday, citing unidentified people familiar with the plans.

Members of Darty's board visited Moscow last week to discuss buying a stake, and negotiations have been going on since last year, Kommersant said. M.Video is also working with Deutsche Bank on a "parallel" plan to sell a 25 percent stake in a public offering this fall, possibly in London. (Bloomberg)




Afghan Debt Forgiveness



Russia may sign an agreement to forgive most of Afghanistan's $11 billion in debt by the end of this month, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was quoted as saying Friday.

"I hope an agreement will be signed by the end of July," Kudrin said, Interfax reported. Officials have said Russia is prepared to write off 80 percent to 90 percent of Afghanistan's bilateral debts. (Reuters)




Lingerie Up for Grabs



PTA Grupp, an Estonian lingerie retailer operating in the Baltic states and Belarus, plans to list on the Warsaw bourse and then will sell new shares to help fund expansion in eastern Europe.

The company will first sell 6.2 million existing shares, or a 16 percent stake, to institutional investors, and expects the stock to start trading on the Warsaw bourse this month. It plans to sell 2 million new shares, or 5.1 percent, to Alta Capital Partners, its main shareholder, later in the month. (Bloomberg)




Azeri Bribe Case Payment



Omega Advisors, the $6 billion hedge fund run by Leon Cooperman, will pay $500,000 to resolve a U.S. bribery investigation into its investment of more than $100 million in Azerbaijan with Czech financier Viktor Kozeny.

Prosecutors in New York agreed not to charge U.S.-based Omega, following a 2004 guilty plea of a former executive, Clayton Lewis, who admitted conspiring to bribe Azeri leaders. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Sitronics plans to offer 5 billion rubles ($195 million) in two bond sales this year, the company said Friday. (Bloomberg)

Bank of Moscow on Friday postponed its first sale of bonds in euros. (Bloomberg)

Comstar said it would not buy 51 percent of Greece's Hellas On Line as agreed upon last December, as it wants to concentrate on Russia and other CIS markets. (Bloomberg)

Czech power firm Energo-Pro bought six hydropower plants and two electricity distributors in Georgia for $152 million, Georgian Energy Minister Nika Gilauri said. (Bloomberg)

Evraz's Highveld Steel & Vanadium appointed Walter Ballandino as CEO, the company said Friday. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Gold named Interros' deputy general director, Sergei Batekhin, as its board chairman Friday. (Bloomberg)

Moody's Investors Service on Friday raised Severstal's credit rating one step to Ba2 from Ba3. (Bloomberg)