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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom, Sibir in Talks

LONDON -- Gazprom is in talks with Sibir Energy that may see it take a stake in the London-listed oil company, the Sunday Telegraph reported, citing billionaire Shalva Chigirinsky.

The two companies are in talks to combine all of Sibir's assets with stakes held by Gazprom in a Moscow-based refinery and an oilfield called Sibneft-Yugra, Chigirinsky, the biggest investor in Sibir, told the newspaper in an interview published Sunday.

If the talks are successful, both Sibir and Gazprom would have a stake in Sibir, helping Gazprom to expand into the "Western world," Chigirinsky said. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Dividend Up 45%

Sberbank will increase its dividend for ordinary shares by 45 percent on last year's net income.

The bank will pay 385.5 rubles per ordinary share, up from 266 rubles the year before, state-run Sberbank said in a statement distributed at an annual shareholders meeting Friday. The lender will pay 9.3 rubles on each preferred share, a 57 percent increase from the year before.

Sberbank said profit rose 26 percent last year to 82.8 billion rubles ($3.2 billion).Shareholders also approved a share split of 1,000 ordinary shares to one and of 20 preferred shares to one. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Seen Picking Banks

LONDON -- United Company RusAl appointed six banks including JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as advisers on the company's planned initial public offering in London, the Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

Credit Suisse, UBS and Deutsche Bank are the other banks hired to advise on the 15 billion pound ($30.1 billion) share sale, the newspaper said Sunday. (Bloomberg)

Alrosa Majority Stake

The government plans to gain control over more than 50 percent of Alrosa, which mines one-quarter of the world's diamonds, within the "coming weeks," Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Friday.

The state will take control of a 10.5 percent stake in the mining company from VTB Group, Russia's second-largest bank, Kudrin told reporters. (Bloomberg)

Danone Ups WBD Stake

Groupe Danone, the world's largest yogurt maker, increased its stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann, sending shares of Russia's biggest dairy producer higher.

Danone acquired 4.6 percent of Wimm-Bill-Dann, raising its stake to 18.4 percent, the Paris-based company's spokeswoman Maire Ginhoux said Friday.

Wimm-Bill-Dann added Danone Vice President Jacques Vincent to its board on June 27. (Bloomberg)

Tatneft Profit Climbs 15%

Tatneft on Friday said profit advanced 15 percent last year as world oil prices rose.

Net income rose to $1.13 billion from $981 million a year earlier, the company said. Earnings per common share advanced to $13.60 from $13.13, and earnings per preferred share climbed to $13.52 from $12.88.

Consolidated revenue rose 16 percent to $12.1 billion from $10.4 billion a year earlier under U.S. accounting standards. (Bloomberg)

3 New Polyus Directors

Polyus Gold on Friday appointed three new directors to its board, including CEO Pavel Skitovich, who was chosen for the job last month.

Sergei Batekhin and Kirill Parinov, both representatives of Interros Holding, were also elected to the board, which seats two independent directors, Polyus said Friday in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg)

Uralkaly Net Plunges 63%

Uralkaly, the world's fifth-largest producer of potassium fertilizer, on Friday said profit declined 63 percent last year as it closed a mine and labor costs rose.

Net income fell to 3.49 billion rubles ($140 million) from 9.43 billion rubles a year earlier, the company said. Sales slid 20 percent to 22.29 billion rubles. (Bloomberg)

AEB on Business Climate

The country's business environment is generally positive for Western investors, the new head of the Association of European Businesses said on Friday, adding that bureaucracy, tax rules and corruption remain problematic.

"The prospectus for the [energy] business here is so positive, there is no idea of reducing the engagement in Russia," Frank Schauff said. (Bloomberg)

MegaFon Surges 65%

MegaFon on Friday said profit surged 65 percent in the first quarter as a ninth year of economic expansion boosts demand for communication services nationwide.

Net income climbed to 6.14 billion rubles ($238 million) from 3.72 billion rubles a year earlier, MegaFon said in an e-mailed statement. Revenue rose 49 percent to 29.3 billion rubles. (Bloomberg)

New TeliaSonera CEO?

OSLO -- TeliaSonera of Sweden may appoint a new CEO as early as this autumn, Dagens Industri reported Saturday, citing Chairman Tom von Weymarn.

The company has narrowed its search to fewer than 10 candidates, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)