Business in Brief

Steelmakers Drive Stocks Up



Russian stocks climbed on Tuesday, led by Evraz and Severstal, as gains in coal prices increased the steelmakers' profit outlook.

The ruble-denominated MICEX rallied 2.6 percent to 1,678.42 as all but four of its 30 members advanced. The dollar-denominated RTS added 1.6 percent to 2,009.71. (Bloomberg)




Higher Gas Tax Proposed



The country should increase the gas-extraction tax for such producers as Gazprom as they profit from rising domestic prices, a deputy finance minister said Tuesday.

The ministry has "at least until April" to propose the new tax rate, which will be imposed no earlier than next year, Sergei Shatalov told reporters. Producers will get about $25 billion in extra revenue after the government almost doubles by 2011 domestic gas prices from the 2006 level, he said. (Bloomberg)




TNK-BP's Pipeline Link



Gazprom granted BP's Russian venture the right to connect a western Siberian natural gas unit to the national pipeline system, TNK-BP vice president Alexander Berezikov said, Kommersant reported Tuesday.

TNK-BP's Rospan International now ships fuel through Gazprom's nearby Urengoigazprom division, limiting how much it can produce and ship, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)




Telenor Scores Board Win



HELSINKI -- Telenor, the Nordic region's largest phone company, said Tuesday that a Geneva court confirmed an arbitration ruling against Alfa Group related to VimpelCom board members.

The tribunal required Alfa Group, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, to keep the number of its board appointees at four and approve a fifth from five candidates designated by Telenor, the company said. (Bloomberg)




Peugeot Plans $440M Plant



PSA Peugeot Citro?n, Europe's second-biggest carmaker, plans to invest 300 million euros ($443 million) in a new plant in Russia as a 10th consecutive year of economic growth spurs consumers to buy more foreign cars, the company said Tuesday.

The Paris-based automaker is seeking to capture 10 percent of the local market by about 2015, Didier Aleton, head of Peugeot's projects in Russia, said after signing an agreement to build the assembly plant by 2010. (Bloomberg)




Michelin Tires for Toyota



France's Michelin will supply tires for Camry sedans made at a factory opened by Toyota Motor last month near St. Petersburg, Kommersant reported Tuesday, citing Michelin's press service.

In 2006, Michelin's plant near Moscow started providing tires for an assembly line of Focus models operated by Ford in Vsevolozhsk in the Leningrad region, Kommersant said. (Bloomberg)




Metalloinvest Gets Contracts



Metalloinvest, the country's biggest iron-ore supplier, won sales contracts with U.S. Steel and Severstal, and extended an agreement with Corus Group, the British unit of Tata Steel, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The company, owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, has agreements for 80 percent of the 2.4 million tons of hot-briquetted iron it plans to produce this year, the statement said. (Bloomberg)




Lenta Hires RenCap



Shareholders of supermarket chain Lenta hired Renaissance Capital to help resolve an ownership dispute, the company said in a statement.

Owners including August Meyer, who holds a 36 percent stake, and other individual investors hired Renaissance for "advice with current financial issues concerning Lenta," a statement released late Monday said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Magnit will hire Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to underwrite a share sale to fund expansion, the supermarket chain said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Rosbank boosted consumer lending by one-fifth last year, the bank said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Carousel plans to raise 5 billion rubles ($204 million) in a bond sale, the company said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Russia may overtake China as the top gold producer by 2015, up from fifth-largest, the nation's Gold Producers Union said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Polyus Gold said Tuesday that it was planning to start mining the nation's largest gold deposit, Natalka, in 2012, a year earlier than planned. (Bloomberg)

A group of South Korean car-part manufacturers, led by a Hyundai Motor unit, plans to invest $217 million to build factories that could supply foreign automakers operating outside St. Petersburg. (Bloomberg)

The St. Petersburg Exchange delayed the start of oil futures trading because of a conflict between government agencies and ministries, the exchange's director general said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)