Business in Brief

$400M Hyundai Car Plant



ST. PETERSBURG -- South Korea's Hyundai signed an agreement with the St. Petersburg city government to build a $400 million assembly plant in the city by 2010.

The company plans to make 100,000 vehicles annually at a 200-hectare site in the city's Kamenka industrial zone, City Hall said in a statement Friday.

Hyundai Mobis, South Korea's biggest auto-parts maker, will build a plant in the same location. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom in Germany



E.On, Germany's largest utility, and Gazprom plan to build a gas-fired power station in Germany.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a 1,200-megawatt plant by 2011, E.On said Friday in a statement. The facility will be built in the city of Lubmin, near the terminus of the planned Nord Stream pipeline. (Bloomberg)




Moscow Power Merger



Unified Energy System on Friday set the price for the merger of two Moscow power-grid companies that it plans to conclude by July.

UES valued Moscow Regional Electricity Network at 55.5 billion rubles ($2.25 billion), or 1.96 rubles per share, for the sale, Interfax said Feb. 12.

Moscow City Electricity Network was valued at 40.2 billion rubles, or 1.42 rubles per share. (Bloomberg)




Novatek to Borrow $800M



LONDON -- Gas producer Novatek will borrow $800 million to refinance debt, banks arranging the loan said Friday.

Lenders including BNP Paribas, Calyon, Citigroup and Sumitomo Mitsui will host a meeting for banks in London on Friday as they seek to syndicate the debt. (Bloomberg)




WBD Profit Warning



Wimm-Bill-Dann, the country's biggest dairy producer, said 2007 earnings were close to the lowest analyst estimate, hurt by rising milk prices.

EBITDA was near the low end of a range of estimates, Wimm-Bill-Dann spokesman Anton Saraikin said Friday. (Bloomberg)




Power Prices Jump 34%



Power prices in European Russia jumped 34 percent last month, the ATS electricity exchange said Friday.

Electricity sold in the so-called first pricing zone, which includes European Russia and the Ural Mountains region, climbed to a weighted average of 860.9 rubles ($35.85) per megawatt hour during January, ATS said in a statement. (Bloomberg)




BlackBerry Imports Cleared



MTS and VimpelCom got permission to import BlackBerry e-mail devices after overcoming opposition from the Federal Security Service.

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry notified the companies Thursday that their applications had been approved, MTS spokeswoman Irina Osadchaya and VimpelCom spokeswoman Yekaterina Osadchaya said Friday. (Bloomberg)




Sedmoi Sales Up 29%



Retailer Sedmoi Kontinent said sales rose 29 percent in January as more Russians bought higher-priced food.

Sales reached $131 million last month, Sedmoi said Friday, without giving comparative figures. (Bloomberg)




Abramovich's Ball Bearings



Billionaire Roman Abramovich has agreed to buy 50 percent of European Ball Bearings, the country's biggest producer of ball bearings, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing unidentified state officials.

The company's 2007 revenue was 10.6 billion rubles ($441 million), Vedomosti said.

State Duma Deputy Oleg Savchenko and his business partner Alexander Moskalenko own the other 50 percent, the newspaper said. It did not specify who had sold the stake. (Bloomberg)




Ukraine May Block Pipeline



Ukraine could complicate Gazprom's plans to build the South Stream pipeline under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, Kommersant reported Friday.

Deputy Industry and Energy Minster Anatoly Yanovsky said the pipeline route would require approval from Ukraine and Romania. (Bloomberg)