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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

BP Offers Gazprom LNG

BP has offered to contribute part of its liquefied natural gas business in Trinidad and Tobago to its global venture with Gazprom, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Vedomosti quoted sources close to TNK-BP as saying BP had also made a few more contribution proposals, which sources declined to disclose.

Gazprom, BP and TNK-BP agreed to set up a global venture earlier this year following Gazprom's acquisition of the Kovykta field from TNK-BP. (Reuters)

Reserves Fall by $5.5Bln

Foreign currency and gold reserves fell by $5.5 billion in the week ended Aug. 17, the biggest decline this year, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The reserves were $414.7 billion, compared with $420.2 billion the previous week, the Central Bank said in a statement. The reserves gained $3.4 billion in the previous week, the bank said. (Bloomberg)

Russia Pays Portuguese Debt

LISBON -- Russia paid all the debt it owed to Portugal's government and Portuguese companies, 13 years ahead of schedule, Portugal's Finance Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Of the $83.6 million payment, $65.6 million was owed to the state while the remainder was owed to companies, Portugal's Finance Ministry said. The payment was due in 2020 under the previous debt restructuring agreements signed by both countries in 1997 and 2001. (Bloomberg)

Novatek Profit Rises 20.5%

Novatek, the country's largest independent natural gas producer, said Thursday that profit had advanced 20.5 percent in the second quarter, less than analysts expected, as prices climbed.

Net income rose to 4.22 billion rubles ($163 million) in the period from 3.5 billion rubles a year earlier, the company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

VTB Not to Buy Back Shares

VTB Group, which sold shares to the public in May, has no immediate plans to buy back stock after the price fell as much as 16 percent, the bank said Thursday.

"VTB is not planning to conduct a share buyback at the moment to regulate the shares' market price," the bank said. The lender denied earlier media reports concerning a possible buyback. (Bloomberg)

OGK-6 Reviews Spending

Wholesale power generator OGK-6 may spend 261.5 million rubles ($10.2 million) on first-half dividends after a board recommendation, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The generator's directors approved paying shareholders 0.978 kopek per share for the six months, after a 0.86 kopek dividend in the first quarter, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Timchenko's Surgut Stake

LONDON -- Gennady Timchenko, an oil trader and ally of President Vladimir Putin, may have a stake in Surgutneftegaz, Energy Intelligence Group reported Thursday, citing industry officials whom it did not identify.

Twenty-three investment vehicles, controlled by oil company managers, own 72.6 percent of Surgut, the news service said.

Timchenko controls Geneva-based trading house Gunvor, which handles oil exports from Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and Surgut, EIG said. (Bloomberg)

Coal Firm to Build Plants

LONDON -- Kuzbassrazrezugol plans to build concentration plants at its Bachatsky and Krasnobrodsky open-cast coal mines, company spokesman Stepan Dubkov said, Interfax reported.

Each plant will cost at least 1.5 billion rubles ($58 million) and have the capacity to process 3 million tons of coal per year, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

NIS, Jat Control Sought

NEW YORK -- LUKoil and Aeroflot may gain control of Serbian state-owned energy company NIS and national airline Jat when they are sold in the coming months, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Serbia has also decided to reopen a tender for RTB Bor, its largest copper mine, after lobbying from Oleg Deripaska and President Vladimir Putin, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

MMK Buys Fortescue Stake

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, the country's third-largest steelmaker, has bought a 5.4 percent stake in Australia's Fortescue Metals Group, which is building an iron ore mine in western Australia, a statement filed Thursday by Fortescue Metals said.

The Russian company owns 15 million shares, the statement said. (Bloomberg)