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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

More Business Headlines

German Politicians Question Fridman's Purchase of RWE Oil and Gas Unit

Senior German politicians have questioned utility group RWE's decision to sell its oil and gas unit DEA to investors led by Russia's second-richest man Mikhail Fridman.

RWE said Sunday it would sell the profitable part of its business to the investor group in a deal worth 5.1 billion euros ($7.1 billion), as it struggles to emerge from a deep energy industry crisis and its first net loss since 1949.

Michael Fuchs, deputy parliamentary leader of Merkel's Christian Democrats, urged the government to examine the DEA deal, warning Germany's energy dependence on Russia was already too high.

His party colleague Joachim Pfeiffer echoed his criticism, as did the deputy parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats, Hubertus Heil, although Heil added the government could not meddle in business matters. (Reuters)

Retailer X5 Sells Ukrainian Store Network to Local Rival

Russian food retailer X5 is selling its stores in Ukraine to local rival Varus, the Ukrainian retailer said, the first Russian company to pull out of its neighbor amid a bitter political crisis.

Ukraine is a favorite destination for Russian business, but Moscow's annexation of the southern Crimea region has split the neighbors, with some Ukrainian politicians calling for a boycott of Russian goods.

X5, Russia's second-biggest retailer and part of billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group, is selling its Ukrainian stores to local privately owned supermarket chain Varus, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian company said Wednesday.

She gave no details, but Ukrainian newspaper Capital reported earlier that the deal could be worth about $5 million to $10 million. It had been in the works since October, but the crisis over Crimea may have quickened the pace of talks. (Reuters)

VimpelCom Mulls Refinancing Italian Subsidiary Wind

Russia's VimpelCom is considering a refinancing plan to improve the capital structure of its Italian subsidiary Wind, the mobile phone operator said Wednesday.

The plan may include a cash injection of 500 million euros ($696 million) by VimpelCom, part-owned by Mikhail Fridman's Altimo and Norway's Telenor, the company said.

"The aim of the refinancing plan is to provide [VimpelCom] with significant interest cost savings, stronger cash flow generation, a deleveraging trajectory and an extended maturity profile," the company said in a statement.

VimpelCom bought Wind in 2011 in a deal which also saw it take a 51 percent stake in Egypt-based Orascom Telecom for $6 billion. VimpelCom has a total net debt of $22.6 billion according to its latest earnings report. (Reuters)

Rostelecom Profit Falls Sharply in Q4 2014 on Flat Sales

State-controlled telecoms group Rostelecom reported on Wednesday flat sales and a decline in earnings for the final quarter of 2013, hit by lower revenues from fixed-line calls and a high base effect.

Net profit for the fourth quarter was 1 billion rubles ($27.56 million), down from 2.7 billion rubles the year earlier, while revenues were unchanged at 85.3 billion rubles, the former fixed-line monopoly said in a statement.

The high base effect in 2012 was linked to the recognition of one-off profit gains. (Reuters)