Business in Brief

Starbucks in Sistema Talks

Starbucks is in talks with billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema holding company to buy adjacent properties in Russia to house coffee shops and retail technology outlets, Kommersant reported Friday.

The shops may be located together, separated by glass walls, the newspaper said, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. Starbucks operates under similar cooperation agreements in some European countries. (Bloomberg)

24-Hour Farming Channel

ST. PETERSBURG -- The country will start a nationwide 24-hour television channel devoted to farming this summer, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said Friday, Interfax reported.

Gordeyev told journalists in St. Petersburg that approval for the channel had come from President-elect Dmitry Medvedev, the news agency reported. (Bloomberg)

Shell Talks With Astrakhan

Royal Dutch Shell has held talks on developing oil and natural gas projects with the administration of the Astrakhan region on the Caspian Sea, according to a statement posted on the local governor's web site.

The region's resources could be used to supply the South Stream natural gas pipeline, said Chris Finlayson, head of Shell's Russian operations, according to the statement. (Bloomberg)

Georgian Terminal Bought

KazMunaiGaz, Kazakhstan's state oil and gas company, has acquired all of the production assets of Naftrans, which operates an oil terminal in Georgia, Interfax reported.

The deal was worth $220 million, said ENR Russia Invest, a Naftrans shareholder, Interfax reported. (MT)

Severstal Eyes U.S. Plant

CHICAGO -- Severstal, the country's biggest steelmaker, is close to buying ArcelorMittal's Sparrows Point steel plant near Baltimore, Platts news agency said, citing a source close to the situation.

Severstal may pay about $800 million for the plant, after reaching an agreement with a U.S. official overseeing the sale, the agency said. (Bloomberg)

North-West Value to Triple

North-West Telecom, a fixed-line company in the St. Petersburg region, rose the most since Feb. 4 in Moscow trading on Friday, after saying its market value would triple over the next five years on higher earnings.

The value will increase to $3.35 billion by the end of 2012, the company said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft's Tax Suggestions

Rosneft plans to send the government proposals for changing the tax regime to stimulate the development of new projects, Interfax reported Friday.

The current system primarily taxes oil companies' revenues instead of their profit and is holding back the industry, said Alexander Kochnev, first deputy head of Rosneft's analysis department, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Baltic Bid Wins Approval

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service approved Carlsberg's bid for full control of Baltic Beverages Holding, owner of the country's largest brewer.

Igor Artemyev, head of the anti-monopoly service, approved the application after a meeting on Friday with Carlsberg's CEO and Baltika's president, the service said. (Bloomberg)

Oil Output Estimates

Russian oil output will probably rise to 600 million tons per year by 2030, or an average of 12 million barrels per day, the Industry and Energy Ministry said in a forecast, RIA-Novosti reported Friday.

Output will probably rise to 595 million tons per year by 2020, a ministry official said, the news agency reported. The ministry also forecast gas production would rise to 880 billion cubic meters per year by 2030 and to 825 bcm per year by 2020. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Gazprom plans to produce 2 percent more gas this year than in 2007, deputy chief executive Alexander Ananenkov said Friday, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Bank of Moscow said Saturday that it had mandated four banks to raise $150 million through a syndicated loan. (Bloomberg)