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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco seek Russia advantage with $1.5 billion deal, (NYSE: PM)

Philip Morris International Inc and Japan Tobacco Inc are buying 20 percent stakes in their Russian distributor Megapolis for $750 million each, strengthening their grip on the world's No.2 cigarette market by volume after China.Russia, where 40 percent of the adult population smoke, is a key battleground for foreign tobacco companies grappling with dwindling sales in many developed markets where government regulation is becoming stricter and smokers fewer.Foreign players - British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris - supply more than 90 percent of the Russian market, worth about $20 billion a year.However, distribution has stayed mostly in Russian hands with Megapolis - majority owned by Igor Kesayev, who also controls the Degtyarev arms factory and food retailer Dixy - controlling about 70 percent.

Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is a holding company. Shares of PM fell by 0.72% or $-0.62/share to $85.14. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $82.44 and as high as $96.73. On average, 5176990 shares of PM exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2343476.