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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

MDM Bank Sells Stakes

Investment firm Olivant and the International Finance Corporation will buy stakes in MDM Bank, the bank said in a statement Monday.

MDM Bank said Olivant would buy a 10 percent stake from current shareholders Sergei Popov and Martin Andersson while IFC would acquire 5 percent of the bank in the form of an additional share issue. MDM is rated among the country's top 15 banks by assets, with a strong position in both retail and investment banking. (Reuters)

Gazprombank Profit Triples

Gazprombank Group, which includes the banking arm of Gazprom, said Monday that profit almost tripled last year to a record.

Net income advanced to $1.3 billion from $457 million one year earlier under international financial reporting standards, Gazprombank said in an e-mailed statement Monday.

The value of the group's assets grew 75 percent to $31.7 billion. The earnings include Gazprom-Media and petrochemicals producer Sibur. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Raises Ritek Stake

LUKoil, the country's second-biggest oil producer, raised its stake in Ritek to 74.9 percent by combining it with another unit.

LUKoil raised its stake from 64 percent after Ritek acquired the Nazymgeodobycha unit, LUKoil said in a statement distributed by the Regulatory News Service on Monday.

Prosperity Capital Management, a Ritek shareholder, opposed the merger, saying in November that LUKoil offered terms unfair to minority shareholders. (Bloomberg)

Oil Fund to $122Bln

The stabilization fund rose to $121.68 billion in June as the world's biggest energy exporter benefited from global oil prices.

The value of the fund rose 4 percent from $116.9 billion the previous month, the Finance Ministry said on its web site Monday. The fund held $53.48 billion, 41.44 billion euros and ?6.22 billion as of July 1. (Bloomberg)

State Gets Bashkir Oil Assets

The Moscow Arbitration Court ruled the state should take back stakes of as much as 16 percent in six energy companies in Bashkortostan, Kommersant reported.

The stakes should be handed over to the Federal Property Fund to make up for 30 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) in unpaid taxes, the newspaper said, citing a June 29 ruling. The Bashkortostan government will appeal, Kommersant said.

The ruling may help Gazprom or Rosneft acquire these assets, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom's European Prices

Gazprom expects the European price for 1,000 cubic meters of gas this year to be "not more than $4 or $5" lower than last year, the deputy head of Gazprom's export arm said Monday.

The forecast unit price of gas exported to Europe this year is $256 to $258, Sergei Chelpanov told investors on a conference call. (Bloomberg)

Fitch Upgrades Rosneft

Rosneft had its debt rating raised to investment grade at Fitch Ratings after the oil company acquired production, refining and retail assets from bankrupt oil firm Yukos.

Fitch raised Rosneft's foreign and local debt one level to BBB-, the lowest investment grade, from BB+, the rating company said in an e-mailed statement Monday. (Bloomberg)

Istanbul Airport Bid

Celebi Hava Servisi, a Turkish provider of airport services, said it would jointly bid for a 20-year license to operate the smaller of Istanbul's two airports with Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Istanbul-based Celebi and Sheremetyevo are bidding for a contract to run Turkey's Sabiha Gokcen Airport, the Turkish company said in a statement to the Istanbul bourse Monday. (Bloomberg)

New Mechel Chairman

Steel and coal producer Mechel elected Valentin Proskurnya as chairman to replace co-founder Vladimir Iorich, who sold his 42.5 percent stake in January.

Mechel reported the decision Monday in an e-mailed statement. Proskurnya has been a Mechel board member since 2003, and an independent director on its nine-man board since 2004. (Bloomberg)

CPC June Exports Fall 9%

Kazakh and Russian oil exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium to the Black Sea fell by 9 percent in June to 664,500 barrels per day from 730,000 bpd in May, the consortium said Monday.

Russian shippers exported 71,000 bpd via CPC in June, down from 80,000 bpd in May. (Reuters)

NLMK Sells Bank Stake

Novolipetsk Steel has completed the sale of its 50.08 percent stake in Lipetskcombank to Bank Zenit for about $44 million, the company said Monday.

Novolipetsk said in a statement that it had sold the stake as part of an internal restructuring plan to sell noncore assets. (Reuters)

Soros Ally Invests in UES

Nicholas Roditi, a former adviser to George Soros, owns at least 1.5 percent of Unified Energy System, making him the third-largest minority shareholder in the state-run Russian utility, Vedomosti reported Monday.

South African-born Roditi started buying UES shares seven years ago and his stake is now worth about $868 million, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Loan to Norilsk

Sberbank has opened a 50 billion ruble ($1.9 billion) credit line to Norilsk Nickel, Norilsk said Monday.

A Norilsk statement issued to the Federal Financial Market Service watchdog did not give details.

Norilsk's head of investor relations Dmitry Usanov denied any link of the credit line to Norilsk's purchase of Canada's LionOre Mining. (Reuters)

Prices Rise 0.6% in June

Consumer prices rose by 0.5 to 0.6 percent in June, compared with a rate of 0.3 percent in June 2006, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said in a bulletin Monday.

The Ministry also said price growth was expected to slow down to 5.2 to 5.3 percent in the first half of the year from 6.2 percent in the same period of 2006. (Reuters)

Turkey Receives Azeri Gas

ANKARA -- Turkey on Monday received its first shipment of Azeri natural gas from the $4 billion Shah Deniz pipeline, an official at state-run pipeline group Botas said.

Deliveries will go to Greece and Italy first, with Greece receiving its first supplies August 10. (Reuters)