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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Gutseriyev Warrant Issued

The Interior Ministry issued an international arrest warrant for the former head of Russneft, Mikhail Gutseriyev, Interfax reported Friday.

The decision was made Thursday as soon as evidence had been gathered to establish that Gutseriyev had left the country, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said, Interfax reported.

Kommersant reported last week that Gutseriyev had fled to London, while Vedomosti said he had taken refuge in Baku, Azerbaijan. (MT)

Thomas Cook Eyes Russia

LONDON -- Thomas Cook is looking at acquisitions in Germany, Russia, China and India, the firm's joint CEO Manny Fontenla Novoa said Friday.

"We haven't discounted [Germany, Russia, China or India]. … We are further advanced in our evaluations of those opportunities," he said.

"If you are an acquirer, it's great the way the market is right now," he added, saying the firm would update the market on plans for a possible special dividend later in the year. (Reuters)

Troika Dialog Sells CDOs

Troika Dialog sold an 8.95 billion ruble ($349 million) collateralized debt obligation secured on derivatives linked to Russian company debt, the bank said Friday in a statement.

The three-year CDO, a security that repackages debt into pieces of varying risk and return, is based on credit-default swaps, the bank said. Credit-default swaps are linked to bonds and loans and used to speculate on the ability of companies to repay debt. (Bloomberg)

Capital Outflow Controlled

LONDON -- Russian officials are pleased that the country's capital markets seem to have withstood a $10 billion net outflow in the past three weeks without negative consequences, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Economists say the money that has left the country was speculative, as investors made bets on the ruble, the newspaper said. The outflow lessens inflationary pressure, and officials are happy that it has been managed without problems at local banks. (Bloomberg)

Banks Hired for TGK-2 IPO

Alfa Bank, the country's biggest private lender, and Dresdner Bank beat competing offers from banks including Merrill Lynch, Troika Dialog and ABN Amro Holding to manage the $350 million share sale of TGK-2.

The power and heating utility attracted nine bidders to lead the sale, Alexei Kravchenko, TGK-2's head of corporate policy, said Friday. The utility, valued at $1.1 billion based on Friday's trading in Moscow, plans to hold the sale before March. (Bloomberg)

MMK Dividend Cut

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, the country's third-biggest steel producer, said Friday that shareholders approved a first-half dividend of 41.8 kopeks (2 cents) per share, 49 percent lower than the 8.15 kopeks paid out a year earlier.

Shareholders also supported a merger with MMK-Kapital, a fully owned unit holding 4.3 percent of the company's stock, Magnitogorsk said in a statement. The shares held by MMK-Kapital will be annulled in the reorganization. (Bloomberg)

Swedbank Reviews Branches

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Swedbank may not open any new branches in Russia this year after the Central Bank restricted the lender's operations in the country, CEO Jan Liden said, the Direkt news agency reported Friday,

Swedbank had originally planned to open six or seven new offices in the country this year and later lowered that forecast to five, Liden said, the news agency reported. (Bloomberg)

Mechel Bulgaria Power Buy

Mechel, the country's third-largest coal producer, plans to acquire a stake in a Bulgarian power plant it tried to purchase in 2006, Kommersant reported Friday.

Mechel agreed to buy 49 percent of Toplifikacija Rousse from HSE, a state-run Slovenian holding, Kommersant said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. HSE paid $117 million for the plant at a tender, the newspaper added. Mechel and HSE neither confirmed nor denied the plan, Kommersant added. (Bloomberg)

JKX Hits Gas in Ukraine

LONDON -- JKX Oil & Gas, an exploration company operating in Europe and the United States said Friday that its well in Ukraine flowed natural gas and gas condensate.

The M162 well in the Poltava region of Ukraine flowed at an average rate of 3.9 million cubic feet of gas and 120 barrels of condensate per day, the company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Sakhalin-4 Test Well Success

Rosneft said a test well in the Sakhalin-4 project confirmed the presence of oil and gas, Interfax reported Friday.

Dmitry Antonov, general manager of Rosneft's regional unit Sakhalinskiye Proyekty, said a test well at the Medvedev formation had been successful, the agency reported from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. (Bloomberg)

Court Clears Magna Deal

Magna International said an Ontario judge approved a $1.5 billion investment by industrialist Oleg Deripaska, paving the way for expansion in Russia's car market.

Magna spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst said Thursday that the company had received the approval. Magna has said the transaction will be completed in late September. (Bloomberg)