Business in Brief

Putin Offers Rakhmon Help

SYDNEY, Australia -- President Vladimir Putin pledged to help Tajikistan battle what the Central Asian nation's leader called "catastrophic" cold weather that has left only the capital, Dushanbe, with regular power supplies.

"There has never been anything like it in our country's history," President Emomali Rakhmon told Putin on Friday. "In the east now it is minus 25." (Bloomberg)

Russia to Ship More Crude

LONDON -- Russia, the world's second-biggest oil exporter, is scheduled to ship about 5 percent more crude from its main terminals in March, according to data released Monday.

The country will send 2.77 million barrels per day of Urals crude next month from the ports of Primorsk, Novorossiisk, Gdansk, Odessa, Yuzhny and Tuapse, according to preliminary loading schedules. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Lending Practices

Sberbank will make it easier for consumers and companies to borrow money, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing company documents.

Sberbank plans to start issuing loans without a guarantor and to become more flexible in determining the creditworthiness of clients, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

TGK-7 Begins Share Offer

TGK-7, a power generator based in the Volga region, began offering about $415 million of shares Friday, Merrill Lynch said in a note to investors.

The pricing of the 3.86 billion shares will likely be set March 4, said Merrill Lynch, which is a joint bookrunner with Troika Dialog. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk Buyback Shelved

Norilsk Nickel decided against a proposed $3.5 billion share buyback because the stock is too expensive, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing two officials familiar with the situation.

Chief executive Denis Morozov and chief operating officer Ralph Tavakolian Morgan said at a Feb. 19 board meeting that the shares were too high to be bought off the market, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Moshkovich BIN Bank Buy

Billionaire Federation Council Senator Vadim Moshkovich is concluding talks to take over BIN Bank, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.

Moshkovich agreed to buy 99 percent of the bank from Mikhail Shishkhanov, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

New Gazprom Supply Deal

LONDON -- Gazprom said Friday that it had signed a gas-supply agreement with British steelmaker Sheffield Forgemasters International.

Gazprom Marketing & Trading, a London-based unit of the state-run company, recently signed the accord, which also covers carbon trading, Gazprom said. (Bloomberg)

Gutseriyev Buys Azeri Fields

Mikhail Gutseriyev, the founder and former chief executive of oil producer Russneft, spent $340 million buying oil fields in Azerbaijan, Nefte Compass reported Friday.

Gutseriyev bought assets including the Mishovdag and Kalameddin fields through a company called Gutseriyev Energy Investments, Nefte Compass said, citing sources. (Bloomberg)

Severstal to Invest $6Bln

LONDON -- Severstal, the country's biggest steelmaker by volume, plans to invest $6 billion in new plants and doubling output at one of its factories, The Times of London reported on Monday.

By 2011, the steelmaker plans to raise steel output by 25 percent, The Times said, citing an interview with majority owner Alexei Mordashov. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

BP will restart an oil pipeline from Azerbaijan to a Black Sea port in Georgia that was closed in 2006 for repairs, the company said Friday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom wants a "significant" stake in Italy's natural gas grid owner Snam Rete Gas, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported Monday. (Bloomberg)