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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco spend $1.5 billion on Russian distributor, (NYSE: PM)

Philip Morris International Inc and Japan Tobacco Inc are buying 20 percent stakes for $750 million each in Russian distributor Megapolis, strengthening their grip on the world's No. 2 cigarette market after China.Russia, a market worth about $20 billion a year and where 40 percent of people smoke, has helped foreign tobacco companies offset dwindling sales in other countries where government regulation is becoming stricter and smokers fewer.Foreign companies - including British American Tobacco , Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris - control more than 90 percent of Russian sales.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 0.51% or $-0.44/share to $85.32. 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 738567.