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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Russian Buys French Villa

LONDON -- Lily Safra, the widow of banker Edmond Safra, agreed to sell a villa overlooking the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, southern France, for a record 500 million euros ($750 million) to an unidentified Russian buyer, Nice-Matin reported on its web site.

The buyer exchanged contracts to buy Villa Leopolda in the Mediterranean town near Nice and Monaco from Safra's estate last week, the regional French newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

The purchase will probably be completed next month, making it the world's most expensive residential property, the newspaper said. The villa sits in an 8-hectare estate with terraced gardens with olive groves and citrus trees and was built by Belgian King Leopold II in 1902, according to the newspaper. (Bloomberg)

Integra, Rosatom Team Up

Integra Group, the first Russian oil-field services provider to list in London, has teamed up with Rosatom, the state nuclear energy corporation, to make equipment for oil exploration.

The two will work on promoting drilling and oil-field service equipment in Russia and abroad, Integra and Rosatom said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Sistema Eyes Sky Link

Sistema wants to get control of mobile-phone operator Sky Link, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said Monday.

Hurdsfield is seeking 50 percent of Sky Link to increase its holding to 100 percent, the anti-monopoly service said in a statement. Hurdsfield is a unit of Sistema, according to a Sistema prospectus last year. (Bloomberg)

Grain Harvest Booming

The country's farmers reaped 52.7 million tons of grain so far this season, 32 percent more than a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said Monday.

Farmers harvested 15.9 million hectares of land, or one-third of the targeted area, as of Monday, the ministry said in a statement. The average yield is 3.32 tons per hectare, or 28 percent more than a year ago. (Bloomberg)

SPI Rejects Takeover Offer

SPI Group, the Russian owner of the Stolichnaya brand outside its home market, said Monday that it rejected a takeover offer from Frank Pesce International Group and that it would seek a distribution partner for the vodka rather than a sale.

"We get a large amount of proposals and are replying to all of them to be polite, but are in no talks," SPI investor Andrei Skurikhin said. SPI may do its own distribution, he said. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

VSMPO-Avisma moved chief executive Vladislav Tetyukhin to a new post of president and elected former Norilsk Nickel official Yevgeny Romanov to replace him. (Bloomberg)

TNK-BP will close its Linik oil refinery in Ukraine on Sept. 15 for a planned upgrade, the company's Ukrainian unit said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Russian raw sugar imports may exceed 1 million tons in the next four months as traders hurry to ship the sweetener before a higher duty comes into effect in December, an industry group said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Tatneft lost an 18 percent stake in Ukrainian refiner AT UkrTatNafta in court, Kommersant reported Monday. (Bloomberg)