Business in Brief

Shell, Tatneft Eye Bitumen



Royal Dutch Shell and Tatneft may agree on forming a joint venture to develop bitumen deposits throughout Russia this year, a Tatneft spokesman said Tuesday.

Shell and Tatneft plan to share ownership of the venture, which may produce from 5 million to 6 million tons of the fuel per year, Tatneft spokesman Vasily Mozgovoi said. (Bloomberg)




Gutseriyev Looks to Africa



Mikhail Gutseriyev, the founder and former chief executive of Russneft, may purchase crude-oil assets in Libya or Sudan after buying companies in Azerbaijan, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

Gutseriyev bought majority stakes in two oil-producing companies in Azerbaijan, the newspaper reported, citing a source close to Gutseriyev. (Bloomberg)




Crude Exports Tax May Rise



The country may increase its tax on crude exports by as much as 1.7 percent on April 1 to reflect rising world oil prices in January and February, a Finance Ministry official said Tuesday.

The tax will probably be set at $337.40 to $339.60 per ton, said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the ministry's customs department. (Bloomberg)




Renaissance's Dubai License



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Renaissance Group said Tuesday that it had received a license to open an office in Dubai as it starts to expand in the Middle East.

Ahmed Muallah, head of Middle East operations, will be based in the Dubai International Financial Centre, Renaissance said. (Bloomberg)




West Siberian Drops 7%



STOCKHOLM -- West Siberian Resources dropped the most in three months in Stockholm trading Tuesday after saying sales in Russia fell short of analyst estimates.

West Siberian fell 7 percent, the biggest decline since Nov. 22. (Bloomberg)




Polyus Raises Annual Target



NEW YORK -- Polyus Gold, the country's biggest producer of the metal, said Tuesday that it had raised its seven-year annual production target by almost one-fifth to 4.6 million ounces.

The higher mine output by 2015 will require $5.1 billion in investment, 50 percent more than initially forecast, chief executive Yevgeny Ivanov said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)




$600M Pipe Facility Begun



Chelyabinsk Pipe Works, part of billionaire Andrei Komarov's ChTPZ Group, said Tuesday that it began construction of a $600 million production facility.

The first stone was laid Tuesday at a ceremony attended by Chelyabinsk Governor Pyotr Sumin, the company said. (Bloomberg)




Central Partnership Sales



Central Partnership, billionaire Vladimir Potanin's movie and television production company, said Tuesday that sales rose 46 percent in 2007 and would advance another 40 percent this year due to demand for domestic films.

Revenue at Central Partnership climbed to $156 million last year and may reach $219 million in 2008, executive director Sergei Shestakov said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)




St. Pete '07 FDI Hits $6Bln



ST. PETERSBURG -- St. Petersburg attracted a record $6.3 billion in foreign direct investments in 2007, 20 percent more than the previous year, the city government said Tuesday.

Foreign assembly plants accounted for 82 percent of the total, the city said. Britain, the United States and Belarus contributed 58 percent to total foreign investment. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Ukrainian-Mediterranean Airlines said Tuesday that a court started bankruptcy proceedings against it Jan. 28. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine's government plans to introduce quotas on sunflower oil and seed exports, Ekonomicheskiye Izvestia newspaper said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

The Kazakh government said Monday that it might impose duties on wheat exports next month. (Bloomberg)