Business in Brief

Rosneft Repays $5.6Bln

Rosneft, the country's biggest oil producer, repaid $5.6 billion due this quarter from a bridge loan used to buy assets from bankrupt Yukos.

Rosneft used its own cash and a $3 billion, five-year loan to repay all but about $190 million of short-term debt due March 31, the state-run company said. Rosneft will pay the remaining $190 million using its own cash. (Bloomberg)

Gruzdev Plans Equity Fund

Billionaire Vladimir Gruzdev will invest most of the proceeds from selling his stake in food retailer Sedmoi Kontinent for about $1 billion in local consumer goods producers, Kommersant reported Monday.

Gruzdev will put about $700 million in a private-equity fund that will buy stakes in consumer-goods makers and the rest in a fund to buy shares of publicly traded energy and finance companies, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)

Private Reserves Managers

The country may hire private companies to manage some of its $494.5 billion in gold and foreign currency reserves, Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, told Vremya Novostei newspaper on Monday.

"I can imagine" a system where private managers invest a part of the reserves to get "somewhat higher" returns, Ulyukayev said. (Bloomberg)

Sistema Sells Motors Stake

Sistema, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding company, said Monday that it sold Sahles, the majority owner of Perm Motors Plant, to state-run defense company Oboronprom for $190 million.

The sale was conducted through subsidiaries, Sistema said in a statement. Sahles now owns 71.6 percent of Perm Motors, Sistema said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft Port Facilities

Gazprom Neft bought port facilities near St. Petersburg to help develop its ship-fuel business, chief executive Alexander Dyukov said, Interfax reported Monday.

Gazprom's oil unit acquired assets at the Baltic port of Primorsk in January, Dyukov said, Interfax reported. He declined to specify which assets Gazprom Neft had bought, saying only that Transflot was among them. (Bloomberg)

Industrial Production Grows

Industrial production growth accelerated 7.6 percent in February, Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Manufacturing grew 11.2 percent in February from the same month last year, the news agency said. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Raises Retail Rates

Sberbank, the country's biggest bank, on Monday increased interest rates for its retail deposits to as much as 9.5 percent.

Sberbank said it raised rates by 0.5 percentage points for its two-year ruble-denominated deposits. (Bloomberg)

Capital Outflow Until June

The country's net capital outflow may continue until May or June, first deputy Central Bank chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said in an interview published Monday in Vremya Novostei.

The net outflow reached about $20 billion in the first two months Ulyukayev said, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley Kiev Office

Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest U.S. securities firm, said Monday that it planned to open an office in Kiev and hired former Ukrainian Finance Minister Ihor Mitiukov to run it.

Morgan Stanley will seek "appropriate regulatory approvals to establish an office," the company said. Mitiukov was finance minister from 1997 to 2001 and served as Ukraine's ambassador to Britain from 2002 to 2005. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Plans Bourse

Gazprom plans to create Europe's largest natural gas exchange in St. Petersburg as the country seeks to turn its northern capital into a hub for trading commodities, Kommersant reported Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The bourse will become a part of St. Petersburg's existing stock exchange, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)