Business in Brief

Meat Shortage for Far East



The Far East could suffer a shortage of meat as early as February after the customs service cut the number of terminals that can accept meat imports, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The Far East imports 90 percent of its meat, and the new rules banning shipments through the ports of Vostochny, Nakhodka and Vladivostok come into effect Feb. 15, the newspaper said, citing a new customs-service list of import terminals. (Bloomberg)




Lithuanian Heat Up 15%



VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Lithuanian heating prices for households may rise about 15 percent next year, said Rimantas Germanas, Vilnius Energija's marketing manager, Lietuvos Rytas newspaper reported Wednesday.

Prices will increase in January when Gazprom lifts gas prices for the Baltic nation, the newspaper said.(Bloomberg)

Urals Energy Raises $129M

Urals Energy, a London-traded oil producer operating in Russia, raised ?62.4 million ($128.5 million) selling shares to boost capital and repay loans, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

The crude producer sold 32.9 million new shares at 190 pence apiece, the company said. (Bloomberg)




Sitronics, MTS Sign Deals



Sitronics, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's technology company, said Wednesday that it signed three contracts worth $39 million to supply equipment to Mobile TeleSystems in Ukraine.

Sitronics will supply the Ukrainian unit with radio-relay equipment made by subsidiary Intracom Telecom under one of the contracts, the company said. (Bloomberg)




Mongolia to Buy Wheat



Russia is considering selling 250,000 to 300,000 tons of wheat to Mongolia at "minimal" prices, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said Wednesday.

The details of the sale will be discussed when a government delegation visits the country on Friday and Saturday, Gordeyev said, without saying when the sale would take place. (Bloomberg)




Pharmstandard Sales Jump



Pharmstandard, the drug maker part-owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich, said sales in the first nine months of the year rose 53 percent, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Sales advanced to 7.76 billion rubles ($300 million) in the three quarters to Sept. 30, from 5.08 billion rubles a year earlier, the company said. It did not give a reason for the increase. (Bloomberg)




1.2% Consumer Price Rise



Prices rose a monthly 1.2 percent, compared with 1.6 percent in October, the Federal Statistics Service said in a statement Wednesday.

Food prices increased a monthly 1.9 percent in November, led by fruit and vegetables, which rose 6.2 percent in the month, the service said. (Bloomberg)




TNK-BP to Invest $1Bln



TNK-BP will invest between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in refining over the next five years, TNK-BP's head of downstream operations, Tony Considine, said Wednesday.

Investment projects include the production of higher-quality diesel and gas oil at Ryazan, the expansion of the company's Saratov refinery and the addition of cracking capacity, Considine said. (AP)




UES Delays TGK-4 Sale



Unified Energy System will accept bids for the state's stake in TGK-4 until Dec. 28 on the request of potential buyers, a UES spokeswoman said.

UES had planned to stop accepting bids for the stake in the power producer on Dec. 17.

"Several investors came to us asking for more time to get to know the company, to get a decision from the [Federal Anti-Monopoly Service], and to make other corporate decisions," spokeswoman Marita Nagoga said. (Reuters)




Mol Plans Gas Transit Line



BUDAPEST -- Mol, a Hungarian energy company that operates natural-gas pipelines linking Russia and the Balkans, proposed a new venture to handle transit of the fuel in southeast Europe, co-chief executive Gyorgy Mosonyi said Wednesday in Budapest, where Mol is based.

The company initiated talks with gas pipeline operators in seven countries from Bulgaria to Austria, Mosonyi said. The venture could take as long as two years to become operational and may sell shares, he said. (Bloomberg)




$1.4Bln to Develop Fishing



The government plans to spend 30 billion ($1.23 billion) to 35 billion rubles over three years to develop commercial ports and fishing industry facilities, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The money will be channeled into several government programs and spent on specific projects, said Andrei Krainy, the head of the State Fisheries Committee, which was formed in September to tackle corruption in the industry, the news service reported. The fisheries committee reports directly to Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov. (Bloomberg)




Prokhorov Rejects Bid Plea



Mikhail Prokhorov rejected a plea from business partner Vladimir Potanin to lower the asking price for his stake in Russia's biggest miner, Norilsk Nickel, and said that he preferred a rival bid from United Company RusAl.

Prokhorov will not cut the $15.7 billion in cash he wants Potanin to pay for the 25 percent stake, the Prokhorov's Onexim Group said Wednesday in a statement.

While Potanin has first refusal on Prokhorov's stake, RusAl's offer is "more profitable," Onexim director Dmitry Razumov said. (Bloomberg)




Morgan Stanley Into Dixy



Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest U.S. securities firm by market value, bought a 13.33 percent stake in Dixy Group, a supermarket chain that held an initial public offering in May.

Morgan Stanley told Dixy on Wednesday that it owned 8 million shares, according to a filing by the Moscow-based company. The stake is worth $114.4 million based on the shares' closing price of $14.30 on the RTS index. (Bloomberg)




$1Bln Atomic Investment



Atomenergomash, the state producer of parts for nuclear power plants, will invest $1 billion over the next two years, general director Kirill Komarov said Wednesday.

"In 2008 to 2009, the holding will invest about $1 billion for modernization and widening [the portfolio] of industrial assets," Komarov said, adding that most of that money would come from advances paid for orders and bank loans secured on orders.

But he said the nuclear power firm might tap bond markets if it was attractive. (Reuters)