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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Transneft Reshuffle Rumors

Transneft CEO Semyon Vainshtok may be replaced by Transnefteprodukt chief Nikolai Tokarev or Gazprom deputy CEO Valery Golubyov when he resigns, Interfax reported Thursday, citing a source.

Vainshtok has informed the pipeline monopoly's board of directors that he is hoping to step down when his contract expires Sept. 13, the news agency cited two other sources as saying.

A merger between Transneft and Transnefteprodukt is due to be completed in October. (MT)

Caucasus Gas Supply Halted

An explosive device destroyed part of a natural gas pipeline in the southern republic of Kabardino-Balkaria at 11:00 p.m. Wednesday, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday, citing an unidentified law enforcement official.

The blast disrupted gas supplies to several towns in the Elbrus area in the Caucasus Mountains, leaving 2,000 residents without fuel, the news service reported. Repairs are under way, RIA-Novosti said. (Bloomberg)

Oil Link to Lithuania Shut

Pipeline monopoly Transneft will need at least another 18 months to fix a pipeline to Lithuania before gaining permission to reopen the link, the Industry and Energy Ministry's technical watchdog said Thursday.

The deputy head of the Federal Service for Technical Regulations, Weights and Measures, Boris Krasnykh, told reporters that Transneft would be ordered to start an 18-month program this fall, which means the pipeline will not reopen before 2009. (Reuters)

Conoco Eyes Stake in Field

Gazprom may offer ConocoPhillips 14 percent and Norway's Statoil 10 percent of the Arctic Shtokman gas project, Vedomosti said Thursday, citing two unidentified people close to Gazprom and its units.

Gazprom will decide whether and how to split up the 24 percent stake by the end of the month, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

OGK-5 Makeover Finished

MILAN, Italy -- The purchase of wholesale generator OGK-5 largely completes Italian power company Enel's "transformational activities," chief executive Fulvio Conti said Thursday.

"[The purchase of OGK-5] will basically complete our transformational activities and give us the optimal perimeter that we've been seeking," Conti said. (Reuters)

Reserves Stand at $416Bln

Foreign currency and gold reserves rose to $416 billion in the week ended Aug. 31, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The reserves, the world's third biggest, increased by $2.2 billion from $413.8 billion in the previous week, the Central Bank said. (Bloomberg)

Baltic Opens Uzbek Brewery

DUBLIN -- Baltic Beverages Holding, the owner of Russia's largest beer company, said Thursday that it opened a brewery in Uzbekistan in a joint venture.

Baltic and its local partner spent about 50 million euros ($68 million) on the plant in Tashkent, the brewer said in a statement. Baltic, which is owned by Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle, controls 75.1 percent of the new business, called Sarbast Plus. (Bloomberg)

X5 to Increase Superstores

X5 Retail Group, the country's largest supermarket chain, said Thursday that it would build the first of dozens of superstores next year in a push to gain market share.

X5 aims to open "between 100 and 120 superstores in the next few years," CEO Lev Khasis said. (Bloomberg)

Kesko Seeks Local Buys

HELSINKI -- Finnish retailer Kesko said Thursday that it was in talks to buy a grocery business in Russia, while it was also looking for other acquisitions in the country and Finland.

"We are looking for a sizeable food operation in Russia, and we are in talks," chief executive Matti Halmesmaki said. (Reuters)

36.6 Plans to Sell Unit

Pharmacy chain 36.6 plans to sell its drug-making unit next year, chairman Sergei Krivosheyev said Thursday.

The chain has received offers for Veropharm, which said Monday that first-half net income increased 48 percent, from both Russian and foreign firms, Krivosheyev said. (Bloomberg)

Mattel Recalls 4,000 Toys

Mattel said it would recall 4,000 toys in Russia after finding Chinese-made Barbie and Fisher-Price products with paint that might contain excessive levels of lead, Interfax reported Thursday.

The recall is for products called Barbie's Dream House, Barbie's Deluxe Furniture and Living Furniture Playset, said citing Simon Taylor, Mattel's director for Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the agency said. (Bloomberg)