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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

VTB Seeks Deal on EADS

VTB is prepared to sell its 5 percent stake in European aerospace giant EADS to a state aircraft holding, but only at a market price, chief executive Andrei Kostin said Thursday.

"We do indeed want to reduce our risk exposure to EADS. We want to do so in a way that does not bring any losses to the bank," Kostin said at a news conference. (Reuters)

Standart Redeems Bond

Russky Standart bank, the country's leading consumer lender, has redeemed a $300 million eurobond on time, senior vice president Levan Zolotaryov said Thursday.

"The redemption was paid for out of the bank's own funds. What's unusual about that?" Zolotaryov said.

Russky Standart, which controls 70 percent of the country's credit card market, has been under close investor scrutiny during the liquidity crunch on global markets because of its heavy reliance on foreign wholesale funding. (Reuters)

No Oil Found at Sakhalin-5

BP and Rosneft have not found enough oil reserves at their Sakhalin-5 offshore venture to begin commercial production, Interfax reported Thursday.

The companies will continue to explore the site, Rosneft chief executive Sergei Bogdanchikov was quoted as saying.

Rosneft owns 51 percent of Elvari Neftegas, the company licensed to explore the Kaigansko-Vasyugansky section. BP owns 49 percent. (Bloomberg)

Surgut Denies Merger Talk

Surgutneftegaz chief executive Vladimir Bogdanov denied that his company planned to merge with a state-run energy company, calling such talk "speculation," Interfax reported.

Bogdanov said such speculation was floated by people seeking to manipulate Surgutneftegaz's share price. Further expansion of state control in the oil and gas industry "doesn't make sense" and could damage competition, Bogdanov said. (Bloomberg)

Neste Seeks Role in Terminal

OSLO -- Neste Oil, Finland's only petroleum refiner, will study an invitation from St. Petersburg to help build a container terminal, Ingmar Dahlblom, vice president of oil retail for the Baltic rim, said Thursday.

"We want to follow this, but it's a complicated project and a decision is very much in the future," Dahlblom said. (Bloomberg)

Novatek Makes Egypt Buy

Novatek, the country's second-largest natural-gas producer, said Thursday that it had bought a 50 percent stake in the El-Arish oil and gas project from Egypt's state-owned Tharwa Petroleum to expand overseas.

Novatek and Tharwa plan to spend at least four years exploring the 2,300-square-kilometer block along the Mediterranean coast, Novatek said. (Bloomberg)

RusHydro Stake Bought

The government spent 5 billion rubles ($200 million) to raise its stake in RusHydro, the country's largest hydropower producer, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The government acquired new shares in RusHydro, also known as Hydro OGK, increasing its stake to 1.9 percent, the company said. The rest of the shares are held by Unified Energy System. (Bloomberg)

Severstal Starts Pipe Factory

Severstal began building a $100 million welded-pipe factory and said Thursday that it planned to add a $60 million plant that would produce light-steel structures used in construction.

The steelmaker began building the Sheksna pipe plant near St. Petersburg. The pipe plant will open in two years and produce 250,000 tons annually. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom to Sell Bonds

Gazprom has chosen Citibank and Gazprombank to help it organize ruble bond issues worth a total of 35 billion rubles ($1.4 billion), Interfax reported Thursday.

Gazprom also mandated Troika Dialog brokerage to buy back 1 billion rubles worth of its stock from the market. (Reuters)

Eurasia Posts First-Half Loss

Eurasia Mining, a precious metals explorer, said Thursday that its first-half loss narrowed.

The loss narrowed to ?486,058 ($982,080) from ?541,624 a year earlier, the London-based miner said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

IBS Group Profit Falls

IBS Group Holding, a provider of information technology services, said Thursday that annual profit fell 8 percent after the company made acquisitions.

Net income fell to $23.5 million from $25.6 million for the year ending March 31, the company said in a statement. Sales rose 26 percent to $722 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 18 percent to $39.7 million. (Bloomberg)

Dalsvyaz Income Doubles

Dalsvyaz, a provider of telecommunications services in the Far East, doubled its first-half profit, Interfax reported Thursday.

Net income rose to 788.9 million rubles ($31.6 million) under international financial reporting standards. (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Record Harvest

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan, the third-biggest grain producer in the former Soviet Union, expects to reap a record grain harvest this season because of favorable weather, the Agriculture Ministry said Thursday.

Production will probably be a record 21.4 million tons, compared with 18.5 million tons last year, said Anna Buts, a senior official at the ministry. (Bloomberg)

Novorossiisk Eyes Listings

Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port will apply for listings on the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq for its planned share float, the port said in a statement Thursday.

The firm said it had chosen Morgan Stanley among its underwriters. Sources close to the firm have said it could float up to 20 percent of its shares. (Reuters)

Belousov Won't Resign

Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Andrei Belousov denied a report Thursday that he would resign in the near future, Interfax reported.

"These are lies, pure disinformation. I am staying in the ministry," Belousov said.

Prime-Tass reported Thursday that Belousov and another deputy economic development and trade minister, Kirill Androsov, might leave the ministry imminently.

Interfax also reported that the head of the Federal Treasury, Tatyana Nesterenko, has been nominated as Deputy Finance Minister. (MT)