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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom to Raise Gas Sales

Gazprom said Thursday that it planned to increase gas sales at unregulated prices on Russia's experimental gas exchange to 7.5 billion cubic meters in 2008, from 5 bcm in 2007.

"The board has positively evaluated the experiment and asked the relevant departments of Gazprom and [its trading arm] Mezhregiongaz to continue cooperation with federal organs to develop the experiment," Gazprom said in a statement. (Reuters)

Rosneft Gets Yukos Licenses

Rosneft, the country's state oil producer, acquired for free $400 million of licenses to oil and gas fields held by bankrupt Yukos, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The country's resources law gives companies that buy property at deposits through bankruptcy proceedings the right to the license as well, Kommersant said. The licenses used to belong to Yukos itself, rather than production units, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Imperial Denies Withdrawal

Imperial Energy, an oil company accused by the authorities of inflating reserves, on Thursday denied having licenses withdrawn by the government, saying it abandoned five exploration permits of its own accord in 2006.

A statement issued earlier Thursday by the Natural Resources Ministry saying the licenses had been annulled was "materially misleading with significant factual inaccuracies," the London-based company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Power Bid Approval

IFD Capital, owned by LUKoil executives Vagit Alekperov and Leonid Fedun, gained anti-monopoly approval to bid for shares in power generator TGK-8, Yelena Nagaichuk, a spokeswoman for the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, said Thursday.

IFD Capital got approval to buy as much as 100 percent of TGK-8's shares, Nagaichuk said. (Bloomberg)

Fewer Azeri Oil Imports

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Azerbaijan plans to pump considerably less oil through Russia next year as it uses cheaper, alternative export routes, the country's state oil firm said Thursday.

Next year will see around 1 million tons of oil pass through Russia from Azerbaijan -- most of which is then sold on to Europe -- down from almost 4 million tons in 2006.

From January through August, Azerbaijan sent 1.5 million tons of oil through Russia. (Reuters)

Tengiz Suspension Urged

ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh lawmaker urged the government Thursday to suspend the U.S. Chevron-led joint venture operating the Tengiz oil field in the Central Asian state due to ecological violations.

The proposal may put further pressure on Kazakhstan's relations with foreign investors at a time when a separate group of Western oil majors is trying to resolve a bitter feud with the Kazakh government over another huge oil project, Kashagan. (Reuters)

Duty on Grain Considered

SOCHI -- Russia plans to sell grain from government stocks and impose a 10 percent export tariff should prices rise too high and will make an announcement next week, acting Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said Thursday.

The intervention sales and accompanying export penalties are designed to curb inflation in Russia, where food prices have risen sharply on the back of record-high world wheat prices. (Reuters)

Konanykhine Wins Asylum

Alexandre Konanykhine, a former banker for jailed businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, won political asylum in the United States after a judge in Virginia rejected the U.S. government's deportation request, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Konanykhine's lawyers argued that their client's life would be in danger in Russia because of his political opposition to President Vladimir Putin and his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Nidan to Borrow $500M

Fruit juice maker Nidan Soki is lining up a $500 million syndicated loan that is being arranged by Goldman Sachs, a banking source said Thursday.

"It will be a big deal, with a volume of around $500 million," the source said. No comment was immediately available from Goldman. (Reuters)

DeltaCredit to Sell Bonds

DeltaCredit Bank, owned by Societe Generale, plans to place a first 4 billion ruble ($159 million) bond issue in February, its chief financial officer said Thursday.

DeltaCredit, based in Moscow, said last month that the Central Bank had registered its three bond issues worth 4 billion rubles each, with maturities of three, four, and five years.

Sergei Ozerov told reporters that the bank did not have a final schedule for the placement of the bonds. He ruled out borrowings in 2007. (Reuters)

Sistema Approves Share Split

Services conglomerate Sistema said Thursday that its shareholders had approved splitting the nominal value of its ordinary shares by a factor of 1,000 to improve their liquidity.

"As a result of the share split, the company's share capital of 868.5 million rubles will now comprise 9.65 billion ordinary shares with a par value of 9 kopeks per share," Sistema said in a statement. (Reuters)

Sitronics Eyes $119M Bond

High-tech company Sitronics said Thursday it would start placing a 3 billion ruble ($119 million) bond Sept. 25.

Sitronics, part of services conglomerate Sistema, said the bond would have a three-year maturity and an 18-month put option. Sitronics said earlier that its board of directors had approved issuing two ruble bonds worth a combined 5 billion rubles to refinance the company's debt. (Reuters)

Norilsk Signs Arctic Deal

Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium miner, has signed a 381 million euro ($532.9 million) contract with Thyssen Schachtbau to install key infrastructure at its Skalisty mine.

Norilsk said in a statement that the German company would supply the VS-10 shaft, which will lift miners and ore from the underground mine in the Russian Arctic. (Reuters)

Sistema to Invest in Banking

Sistema, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding company, plans to invest $250 million by 2010 to turn its banking division into one of the country's top 15 lenders, Kommersant said Thursday, citing a senior company official.

Sistema will acquire regional banks and merge them with its Moscow Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said Dmitry Ladikov-Royev, the bank's deputy board chairman, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)