Business in Brief

Vekselberg Seeks Premium



Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg would be prepared to sell his stake in oil firm TNK-BP if the buyer pays $60 billion for the entire firm -- a huge premium on current prices, Vedomosti said Thursday.

Vekselberg told the paper neither he nor his Russian partners were holding talks with Gazprom or Rosneft about selling their holdings. "[I would be prepared to sell out] based on the firm's overall capitalization of $60 billion. But no one is offering such money," he said.

TNK-BP's market capitalization recently slid to just $25 billion. Analysts value its 50 percent stake in Slavneft at $7.5 billion to $10 billion. (Reuters)




Peugeot Plans Kaluga Deal



French carmaker Peugeot will sign an agreement next week with the Economic Development and Trade Ministry to build a plant in Kaluga, said Stephane Le Guevel, general director for Russia, Interfax reported Thursday.

Le Guevel said the company planned to establish its own financial services in the next few months, Interfax said. Olga Yefremova, a spokeswoman at a PR company handling press for Peugeot, confirmed the report. The PSA Finance Bank will first work with a commercial bank, possibly its current partner BSVG, and will then operate alone once it receives a license, Yefremova said. (MT)




Lenenergo Powering Toyota



Lenenergo, the power transmission operator in St. Petersburg, plans to spend 19 billion rubles ($774 million) on building four substations to provide electricity for a Toyota Motor plant and the city subway, the utility said Thursday.

The 110-kilowatt substations will be operational by the end of 2008, the company said. (Bloomberg)




UES Stands By Sales Goal



Unified Energy System will not change its goal of raising 1 trillion rubles ($41 billion) selling assets because of global market turmoil, chief executive Anatoly Chubais said Thursday.

UES has raised 600 billion rubles selling shares in generators and plans to raise another 400 billion rubles by April, Chubais said. (Bloomberg)




RZD, North Korea Project



Russian Railways will form a joint venture with North Korea to refurbish a rail line to the Russian border, chief executive Vladimir Yakunin said, Interfax reported Thursday.

The venture will overhaul the track connecting the North Korean port of Rajin to the Trans-Siberian Railway, Yakunin said. (Bloomberg)




Development Bank Loans



The Development Bank plans to lend domestic companies about 2 trillion rubles ($81 billion) "in the near future," RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.

The loans will be used to finance the construction of infrastructure, including power stations, and to develop the timber and oil-refining industries, said the bank's head, Vladimir Dmitriyev, the agency reported. (Bloomberg)




Rosneft to Upgrade Tuapse



Rosneft will borrow $2 billion from the country's new Development Bank to invest in oil refining, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.

The funds will be used to modernize its refinery in Tuapse, bank chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev said. He did not specify the terms or timeframe of the loan. (Bloomberg)




Lehman Gets Russia License



Lehman Brothers Holdings the fourth-largest U.S. securities firm by market value, received a license to operate in Russia, the country's financial markets service said.

The license allows Lehman to trade stock and provide brokerage services, the Federal Financial Markets Service said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)




LUKoil Unit Settles Suit



Chaparral Resources, a unit of LUKoil, agreed to pay $36.7 million to settle shareholder lawsuits challenging the companies' 2006 combination.

Investors sued Chaparral, based in New York, in March 2006, contending the buyout price of $5.80 a share was inadequate. (Bloomberg)




Forex Reserves at $478Bln



The country's foreign currency and gold reserves rose to $478.4 billion, the Central Bank said Thursday

The value of the reserves increased by $700 million in the week ended Jan. 18, after gaining $1.1 billion in the previous week, the Central Bank said in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Rosneft and Sibur Holding will bid to construct a power plant in Tarko-Sale, in the Tyumen region, Kommersant reported Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Peter Hambro Mining said it would reach annual production of 1 million ounces later than planned. (Bloomberg)

The government plans to transfer SG-Trans to Russian Railways rather than sell it to investors, Vedomosti reported Thursday. (Bloomberg)