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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Storchak Charge Dropped

The Investigative Committee on Thursday charged Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak with attempted fraud but dropped a second accusation of abuse of office.

Storchak, a close ally of Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, was arrested in November 2007, accused of attempting to embezzle $43 million in a complex deal with foreign debts owed to Russia. The abuse of office charge was added last year.

Storchak denies the charges, which many analysts in Moscow have described as politically motivated and part of a power struggle within the Russian government.

He spent nearly a year in jail before being released last October pending trial. He is officially on leave from work but this week attended a Finance Ministry conference. (Reuters)

Lebedev Carrier Bankrupt

Alexander Lebedev said Thursday that his Blue Wings airline in Germany is planning to file for bankruptcy after the discount carrier's flight license was revoked.

"I will probably file for bankruptcy and will try to make a point that it is the German government's fault," Lebedev said in an interview. "I've never expected anything like that to happen."

Germany's aviation authority said on March 31 that it had terminated Blue Wings' license, citing unspecified "business problems." Lebedev said Thursday that the regulator's move was unfounded.

He also said he may apply for permission to import the Blue Wings jets to Russia to expand the fleet of Red Wings, his low-cost carrier in the country. (Bloomberg)

Nestle to Sell Brand

Nestle agreed to sell the Saint Springs mineral water brand in Russia to IDS Group to focus on sales of more expensive brands Perrier and Vittel in the country, the two companies said Thursday.

IDS Group, which sells mineral water in Russia and Ukraine, will buy the brand for an undisclosed amount. The sale needs to be approved by regulatory authorities. (Bloomberg)

Reserves Fall to $383.9Bln

Russia's international reserves fell for the second straight week as the strengthening dollar caused a currency revaluation.

The stockpile declined $1.1 billion in the week to April 10 to $383.9 billion, the Central Bank said Thursday. Reserves dropped $3 billion in the previous week for the first fall in three weeks. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Stroitransgaz, a Russian pipeline maker, will fire more than 500 people, or half its staff, at its Moscow head office to cut costs, Interfax said Thursday, citing a letter to employees by chief executive officer Alexander Ryazanov. (Bloomberg)

Russia plans to start taxing imports of tropical oil from June 1, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

M.Video said sales rose 28 percent in the first quarter to 23.1 billion rubles ($690 million) as it opened four new stores, according to a statement from retailer on Thursday.