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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

RusAl Predicts Output Hike

SHANGHAI -- RusAl expects to boost aluminum output 65 percent in five years via capacity expansion, its aluminum sales director said Wednesday.

The firm's alumina output will grow 66 percent over the same period, Peter Finnimore said. The firm currently makes 4 million tons of aluminum per year and 11 million tons of alumina. (Reuters)

BasEl Mulls Cement Plant

Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element plans to invest at least $250 million to build a cement plant in Sochi as the holding seeks to become the main construction company for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Vedomosti said Wednesday.

Basic Element will build the plant near the Olympic host city to produce 4 million tons of cement after acquiring the rights to two cement deposits, said Dmitry Savenkov, director of Basic Element's cement unit, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Novosibirsk Seeks $3Bln

Authorities in the Novosibirsk region aim to raise as much as $3 billion in investment to build an industrial park, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The biggest zone of the park, near Tolmachyovo airport, will house machine-building factories and food producers, as well as textile plants, the newspaper said, citing a decree signed by Governor Viktor Tolokonsky. A second zone will accommodate logistics companies' warehouses, Kommersant said. (Bloomberg)

Power Machines' Price Set

Unified Energy System will ask for 21.12 cents per share when selling its 25 percent stake in Power Machines, Interfax said Tuesday, citing a decision by the utility's strategy committee.

The power utility could earn $461 million from the sale, the agency said. That is 15 percent more per share than during the sale of new shares Power Machines carried out earlier this month. (Bloomberg)

Gaz de France Eyes Nabucco

PARIS -- Gaz de France, operator of Europe's largest natural gas network, said Wednesday that it was vying to become a partner in the planned Nabucco gas pipeline running from Turkey to Austria.

"We are a candidate to be a partner," CEO Jean-Francois Cirelli told reporters following a briefing on the company's first-half results. "It is up to the five partners to decide." (Bloomberg)

GAZ Plans New Model

Automaker GAZ plans to produce its new midsize car, which will be based on an older-generation Chrysler model, under the Siber brand, the head of the company's car division said Wednesday at the InterAvto car show.

Last year, the company bought licenses and equipment to produce Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Stratus sedans under its own brand in Russia, Leonid Dolgov said.

The car will go on sale from March and retail from $18,000 upward, he said. (MT)

GM to Double 2007 Sales

General Motors plans to double sales in Russia this year and open 40 dealerships, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday.

Sales in the country this year, led by Chevrolet models, reached 133,500 vehicles by the end of July, and the company aims to increase that number to 250,000, said Jacek Gorski, GM commercial director for the Commonwealth of Independent States, RIA-Novosti said. (Bloomberg)

Halyk Raises Profit Forecast

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Halyk Bank, Kazakhstan's No. 4 bank, raised its full-year net profit forecast Wednesday, saying its modest exposure to foreign funding helped it stay unaffected by a global credit squeeze.

Halyk CEO Grigory Marchenko said the bank had revised its forecast to 40 billion tenge ($317 million), which he described as "conservative," without giving the previous figure. The bank's net profit was 27.2 billion tenge in 2006. (Reuters)

Rosneft Accused in Oil Spill

Rosneft faces a criminal investigation related to a spill at its largest production unit, the Natural Resources Ministry said Tuesday.

Prosecutors in the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district informed the ministry's environmental agency of the case, agency deputy head Oleg Mitvol said in a statement.

Rosneft unit Yuganskneftegaz failed to inform authorities about an oil spill in May in a timely fashion, Mitvol said. (Bloomberg)

Deutsche Exec Steps Down

Ilya Sherbovich stepped down from his position as the president of Deutsche Bank's investment banking unit in Moscow, the bank said Wednesday in a statement.

Andrew Chulack and Dmitry Snesar will replace Sherbovich as co-heads of global banking in Russia, the bank said. Chulack and Snesar will report to Charles Ryan, chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank in Russia.

Sherbovich will continue to advise top Moscow-based bankers at Deutsche Bank, the statement said. (Bloomberg)

Shell to Sell Azeri Oil Stake

Shell agreed to sell a 20 percent stake in a project in Azerbaijan to Korea National Oil, the Azeri Energy Ministry said Wednesday.

BP will remain the operator of the Inam oil field in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian Sea, Azeri Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said in remarks relayed by spokesman Azer Mensimli in a telephone interview from Baku. The Azeri state oil company holds 50 percent in the project. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Halts Refinery Work

SOFIA -- Bulgarian refinery Neftochim Burgas, controlled by LUKoil, said Wednesday it is delaying a major overhaul of one of its crude distillation units until next year.

The 140,000 barrels per day refinery had planned to launch the six-month upgrade in November. It has changed its plans and will carry out the work some time in 2008, as the upgrade was not deemed to be urgent, a refinery spokeswoman said. (Bloomberg)

E4 Joins Race for TGK-1

Engineering and maintenance firm E4 has joined the race to take control of power generator TGK-1, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said Wednesday.

The regulator said E4, controlled by Mikhail Abyzov, a former executive of electricity monopoly Unified Energy System, had filed for permission to buy 100 percent of TGK-1, which serves St. Petersburg. (Reuters)

Ukraine Grain Exports Fall

KIEV -- Ukraine's grain exports will shrink 58 percent this year after a three-month drought, Agriculture Minister Yuri Melnyk said Wednesday.

The country, the world's biggest barley exporter last year, will ship 4 million metric tons of grain abroad this marketing year, compared with 9.6 million metric tons last year, Melnyk said. (Bloomberg)