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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

More Business Headlines

Cargill Buys Stake in Ukraine's Largest Agricultural Company

U.S. agricultural trading giant Cargill has paid $200 million for a 5 percent stake in Ukraine's largest agribusiness holding, the Financial Times reported Sunday.

The deal values Ukrainian billionaire Oleg Bakhmatyuk's UkrLandFarming — the world's eighth-largest cultivator of land and second-biggest egg producer — at $4 billion.

Ukraine contains some of the world's richest farmland, and the former Soviet country is likely to boost its exports to emerging markets, particularly China, in coming years, the newspaper said.

Bakhmatyuk said last year that UkrLandFarming had pulled back from plans for an initial public offering, and would instead seek private investors, Reuters reported.

Cargill confirmed the purchase of the stake in UkrLandFarming, but said it was not seeking to control, manage or operate the business, the Financial Times reported. (RIA Novosti)

Arms Exporter Denies Wrongdoing in Greek Corruption Scandal

Russia's state arms exporter denied Sunday any involvement in a multi-million dollar corruption scandal in Greece related to arms sales that led to the arrest of a former top defense official.

A spokesperson for Rosoboronexport said the Russian arms exporter and the companies that merged to form it have no relation to the deliveries of Kornet-E anti-tank missiles and Osa surface-to-air missile systems to Greece that were mentioned in media reports.

The scandal came to light when Antonis Kantas, who was arrested and charged with graft last month, claimed that he received bribes from the representatives of arms manufacturers from Germany, Sweden and Russia to secure costly weapons deals from 1996 to 2002.

Two local representatives of German arms firms named by Kantas were also arrested. (RIA Novosti)

$1Bln Shortfall at Investbank Reported

The Central Bank has uncovered a shortfall of 30.2 billion rubles ($915 million) on the books of now-defunct Investbank, Kommersant reported Monday.

The regulator revoked Investbank's license in December, citing "visible difficulties." A statement of its bankruptcy was filed by the Central Bank on Monday. However, the size of the hole in the balance sheet — the amount lacking for settlement with the bank's creditors — is a record loss posted by a bank in the past three years.

The shortfall has drawn comparisons with the plight of MezhPromBank, whose bankruptcy in 2010 was the largest in Russian banking history. (MT)

Transneft Expects Oil Exports to Fall in 2014

Oil pipeline monopoly Transneft expects to reduce its crude oil exports to 225 million tons in 2014 from 228 million tons in 2013, the company's CEO Nikolai Tokarev said Monday.

Transneft expects Russian oil producers to increase crude supplies to its pipeline system by 4 million tons to 485 million tons in 2014.

Tokarev also said that Transneft expects to export an additional 15 million tons of oil products a year via the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk by 2020, because of new pipelines. (Reuters)

Semyonov Tipped as Chief of new Tele2 Venture

Former Svyazinvest CEO Vadim Semyonov is the most likely candidate to head a joint venture between Rostelecom and Tele2, Vedomosti reported Monday, citing sources close to the shareholders of both companies.

Semyonov, a former classmate of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, is seen as politically loyal and a logical choice. While there are other contenders for the post, the sources did not reveal any further names.

The new joint company will be created as early as this year and will become the fourth nationwide mobile phone operator in Russia. Rostelecom will receive a 45 percent stake in the company, with the remaining 55 percent going to the current co-owners of Tele2 Russia, Yury Kovalchuk and Alexei Mordashov. (MT)

Owner of Trawler Detained in Senegal Ready to Pay for Ship's Release

The owner of a Russian fishing trawler detained on suspicion of illegal fishing by Senegal 10 days ago says he is prepared to pay a security deposit to free the vessel.

"The first step is to agree on the terms of release for the ship. They have no basis for a fine. They cannot produce anything official. So the conversation has moved to discussing a deposit that could be returned," Yury Parshev, CEO of the company that owns the Oleg Naidenov trawler, said.

Parshev added that he hoped to settle all issues concerning the ship's release on Monday.

The Oleg Naidenov was detained Jan. 4 while operating in waters near the maritime border with neighboring Guinea-Bissau. The ship's captain has insisted the ship was not fishing in Senegalese waters. (RIA Novosti)

Fraudsters Steal $2.1M From Bank Accounts

Police have arrested a group of fraudsters suspected of stealing 70 million rubles ($2.1 million) from Russian bank accounts, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

The investigation said the scam artists bribed bank staff for data about large bank deposits across the country and for copies of depositors' passports.

The group then had false passports produced abroad and used the IDs to open new bank accounts, and later transferred and cashed the money.

"Four fraudsters have been detained in the Moscow Region, St. Petersburg and the Kaluga Region following investigations," police said.

The suspects have been placed under arrest. (RIA Novosti)

LUKoil Reverses 2013 Production Decline

The country's No. 2 oil producer LUKoil managed to reverse a prolonged decline in its oil production last year, increasing output by 1 percent to 90.8 million tons, or more than 1.8 million barrels per day, it said Monday.

LUKoil had suffered a three-year fall in oil production as it failed to offset output cuts at its aging West Siberian oil field with more extraction at new deposits. Its new fields in the Timan-Pechora region in northern Russia also fell short of hopes.

To arrest the halt, the company increased its exposure to overseas upstream projects, including the giant West Qurna-2 oil field in Iraq, which it aims to launch by April.

It also acquired new assets in Russia, such as Samara-Nafta from Hess Corp. for more than $2 billion. (Reuters)