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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom Hits Belgian Snag

BRUSSELS -- Belgium's energy regulator has advised against the project of Fluxys and Gazprom to store natural gas underground in Belgium, De Tijd reported Monday in its online edition, citing the regulator, known as the CREG.

Fluxys, the manager of Belgium's natural gas grid, and Gazprom plan to build the underground storage facility in Poederlee, Belgium. (Bloomberg)

Federal Grid Shares Swap

Gazprom will be allowed to swap its allocated shares in the Federal Grid Company for power generators OGK-2 and Mosenergo, Kommersant reported Monday, citing an unidentified person familiar with the agreement.

Gazprom holds 10.5 percent in Unified Energy System, the national utility set to be broken up next year into separate companies including the Federal Grid Company.

Investors will get shares in all the new companies in proportion to their holding. (Bloomberg)

Evraz to Buy Shares in Units

Evraz Group, the country's largest steelmaker by domestic volume, has offered to purchase all outstanding shares in several of its subsidiary companies, including two large steel mills, the company said Monday.

Evraz said in a statement that the mandatory offers were in accordance with Russian legislation allowing a shareholder owning more than 95 percent of a company to increase its stake to 100 percent by buying out minority shareholders. (Reuters)

Tax Body to Be Split

The Federal Tax Service may be split in two under a restructuring plan drafted by Mikhail Mokretsov, the service's head, Interfax reported Monday.

Separate branches will be established to control payments by individuals and companies, the agency said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

India Opens Up to Gazprom

India's ambassador to Russia said his country supported Gazprom's involvement in a natural-gas pipeline linking Iran, Pakistan and India, Interfax reported Monday.

The three countries are still discussing the price of gas and tariff levels for gas shipments across Pakistan, Ambassador Kanwal Sibal said, the agency reported. (Bloomberg)

Daimler Mulls Own Bank

DaimlerChrysler has moved closer to opening its own bank in the country by filing for registration with the Central Bank, the bank said on its web site.

The new bank's charter capital will stand at 170 million rubles ($6.6 million), the Central Bank said.

DaimlerChrysler has yet to pay its charter capital to receive a license, it said.

Tatyana Mervitskaya, head of the financial services department at DaimlerChrysler's leasing division in Russia, declined to say when the carmaker expected to receive its license.

She reiterated the company's plan to open a financial division by the end of the year. (MT)

Prosperity Buys in Telecoms

Prosperity Management Capital acquired stakes in two regional subsidiaries of Svyazinvest, the national fixed-line phone monopoly, Kommersant reported Monday, citing Ivan Mazalov, who manages the Prosperity Voskhod Fund.

Prosperity units accumulated 9.8 percent of Center Telecom and 4.7 percent of Southern Telecommunications, the newspaper said.

Prosperity may sell the shares, but has not held talks with potential buyers so far, Kommersant cited Mazalov as saying. (Bloomberg)

Aluminum Exports Rise

Aluminum exports outside the Commonwealth of Independent States totaled 2.2 million tons in the first six months of this year, up 2.8 percent on year-earlier volumes, customs data released Monday showed.

The data showed higher prices meaning the value of exported metal rose 29 percent to $4.1 billion.

Nickel exports to non-CIS countries fell 5.2 percent to 112,700 tons, but their value rose 135.5 percent.

Refined copper export volumes to non-CIS countries fell 3.2 percent to 117,000 tons, while their value was up 9.6 percent. (Reuters)

Ferrous Exports Drop 9.3%

Russia exported 9.3 percent less ferrous metal year on year to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States from January to June 2007.

Higher prices meant, however, that revenues climbed by 19.7 percent, customs data showed Monday.

Russia exported 19.95 million tons of ferrous metals worth $9.08 billion to non-CIS countries in January to June compared with 22 million tons worth $7.58 billion a year earlier.

Total exports, including CIS countries, fell to 21.92 million tons from 23.59 million previously. (Reuters)