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Gazprombank, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP],
Gazprombank, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP], said on Thursday it will not buy a 25% stake in Britain's Imperial Energy.

Gazprombank earlier made an offer for the stake in Imperial Energy, a British company focused on oil exploration and production in former Soviet republics, at a discount to the market price as of November 1.

"Discussions have now concluded and the initial proposal will not be progressed," Imperial Energy said in a statement.

However, there is room for cooperation in many areas between the companies in the petroleum industry in Russia, the statement said.

In early November, Imperial Energy said an investor offered a below-market price for its shares, which brought the company's stock down 1.7% to 13.53 pounds ($27), and then further down to 13.31 pounds ($26.62).

Russia's Natural Resources Ministry said previously there was a considerable discrepancy in the company's claimed oil reserves.

According to Imperial Energy's reserve audit data as of December 31, 2006, the company's "proven plus probable" reserves amount to 802.6 million barrels. Imperial Energy plans to produce 10,000 barrels per day by late 2007, 25,000 bbl/d by late 2008, and 35,000 bbl/d by late 2009.

Imperial Energy said it had invested $600 million in the development of its oil deposits in Russia.

Founded in 1990, Gazprombank, which has about 2 million retail clients and over 36,000 corporate clients, is one of the top five banks in Central and Eastern Europe, with assets totaling 1.088 trillion rubles ($43 billion) and equity capital of 88.3 billion rubles ($3.5 billion) as of April this year.


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