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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gazprom Neft Gets Deposits

Gazprom Neft, the crude oil unit of state-owned gas producer Gazprom, won tenders for two oil fields that may be used to load a pipeline to Asia, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Gazprom Neft won at an auction the right to explore and develop the Vakunaisky and Ignyalinsky fields in the Irkutsk region of eastern Siberia, the company said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The fields are located near the planned Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, the statement said, without giving the exact distance. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Refinery Stake

Rosneft plans to swap some production assets for a stake in Shell's Miro refinery in Germany, Vedomosti said Thursday, citing three unidentified people close to the company.

Rosneft and Shell have not yet agreed on the size of the stake in the Karlsruhe-based refinery, the largest in Germany, or Rosneft's contribution to the swap, the paper said. (Bloomberg)

Reserves Reach $417Bln

Foreign currency and gold reserves rose for a second consecutive week after registering a record weekly decline last month, the Central Bank said Thursday in a statement.

The reserves, the world's third-biggest, reached $417.1 billion in the week ended Sept. 7, rising $1.1 billion from the previous week, the Central Bank said. (Bloomberg)

German Poultry Ban Lifted

Russia has partially lifted a ban on German poultry imports imposed at the end of August following an outbreak of bird flu on a farm in Bavaria, the Federal Service for the Inspection of Natural Resources Use said Thursday.

The service said in a statement that the ban had been lifted from all German states with the exception of Bavaria and Thuringia.

These two states are only able to export to Russia hatching eggs and live pedigree chicken under safety guarantees provided by the German veterinary service, the statement said. (Reuters)

Khodorkovsky Legal Win

The Moscow City Court on Thursday rejected a motion by the Prosecutor General's Office to overturn a ruling by Basmanny District Court banning an investigation in Chita into new charges against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business associate Platon Lebedev, Interfax reported.

Lawyers for the businessmen, who are accused of misappropriating government shares, theft of oil, and laundering $25 billion earned from oil sales from 1998 to 2004, have sought to have their clients transferred to Moscow.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are currently serving eight-year prison terms on charges of fraud and tax evasion. (MT)

Kopeika Revenue Rises 58%

Trading House Kopeika, the country's fifth-largest supermarket chain, said Thursday that first-half sales jumped 58 percent as it opened more stores.

Revenue advanced to $670 million in January through June, Kopeika spokesman Alexei Pershin said. He confirmed figures given by general director Sergei Solodov in an interview to Interfax. The company will not provide other figures for first half, Pershin said.

Moscow-based Kopeika, which operates discount food stores, opened 76 outlets in January through June, raising its store count to 404 supermarkets across Russia. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk Raises TGK-1 Stake

Norilsk Nickel, a miner that plans to spin off its power assets this year, increased its stake in St. Petersburg-based power generator TGK-1 to 7.4 percent, the company said Thursday in a regulatory disclosure.

The mining company previously held 4.3 percent, the company said. Norilsk previously owned the shares via investment vehicles, including billionaire Vladimir Potanin's Interros holding company. (Bloomberg)

Exclave Gets Rapeseed Perk

Russia has allowed its exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to ship rapeseed free of an export tariff levied elsewhere in the country, the government said Thursday.

The zero tariff applies both to seeds grown locally and threshed from imported raws and was put into effect June 30. Elsewhere in Russia, rapeseed exports are subject to a tariff of 20 percent but no less than 35 euros ($47) per ton. (Reuters)

Nafta to List Media Assets

Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov's Nafta-Moskva may sell shares in its media units on the London Stock Exchange at the end of 2008, Reuters said Thursday, citing an unidentified person.

Nafta-Moskva may sell shares in Mostelecom, operator of Moscow's cable television network, and National Cable Networks, the country's second-largest cable television provider, the agency said. The companies have 4.5 million clients. (Bloomberg)

Armavia Plans Jet Buys

Armenian airline Armavia plans to seal an agreement to buy two regional Superjet 100 aircraft from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft on Friday, Prime-Tass news agency reported, citing a spokesman for the plane maker.

The airline may also agree on an option to purchase a further two Superjet 100s from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, the spokesman said, the agency reported.

Armavia, the Armenian national carrier, was created in 1996 and carried 465,000 passengers in 2006, according to the airline's web site. (MT)

AvtoVAZ Plans Egypt Nivas

AvtoVAZ plans to start production of its off-road Niva vehicles in Egypt next year, RIA-Novosti reported.

The carmaker said it intended to manufacture and deliver components for around a 1,000 Nivas to the Lada Egypt plant in 2008, the agency reported.

The plant, a joint venture between AvtoVAZ and Egypt's Amal Foreign Trade, was established in 2000 and produced 3,100 Lada units from AvtoVAZ parts in 2006. (MT)

Gorenje Seeks Expansion

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia -- Gorenje Group, a Slovenian maker of washing machines and other appliances, may make an acquisition or form a joint venture to expand in the faster-growing markets of Russia and Ukraine, chief financial officer Mirjana Dimc Perko said Wednesday.

"We see great potential there," Perko said. "We could find a producer with an important market share there that would be suitable as a takeover target or to form a strategic alliance." (Bloomberg)

Kazakh Bank Ups Rates

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazkommertsbank, Kazakhstan's largest bank, said Thursday that it increased lending rates after the cost of borrowing on international markets rose.

"The competition for domestic financing is increasing, and banks are raising interest rates for deposits," said Andrei Timchenko, Kazkommertsbank's managing director. (Bloomberg)