Business in Brief

$2.2Bln Lebedyansky Offer



Shareholders of Lebedyansky, the country's biggest juice maker, were offered $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion for a 77 percent stake, Kommersant reported Tuesday, citing three unidentified bankers who did not identify the bidder.

Lebedyansky shares rose last week on speculation that PepsiCo agreed to buy the company, the bankers told the newspaper. (Bloomberg)




Putin Urges Biofuel Output



President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for the country to carve out a place for itself among the world's biofuel producers, Interfax reported.

"Since the importance of biofuel in the global energy sector is growing, special attention will fall on those countries with enough arable land to produce the fuel. Certainly, Russia will occupy a special place among them," Putin said at a meeting with State Duma deputies, Interfax reported. (MT)




Housing Fraud Case Opens



Defense lawyers for the heads of Sotsialnaya Initsiativa asked in a preliminary hearing Tuesday for the 1 billion ruble ($42 million) fraud case to be returned to prosecutors, Interfax reported.

Sotsialnaya Initsiativa is accused of selling apartments that were never built or that were promised to multiple buyers, sparking protests after the news broke in summer 2005. (MT)




Carbon Credit Forecast Cut



Unified Energy System on Tuesday more than halved its forecast for the cash it will raise from selling carbon credits because of the slow development of Kyoto Protocol mechanisms in the country.

"In our strategy, we are going to attract about $400 million through the Kyoto mechanisms, which is currently reasonable," chief executive Anatoly Chubais said. (Bloomberg)




Annual Oil Export Schedule



The Industry and Energy Ministry approved a plan to set schedules for oil exports through the Druzhba pipeline on an annual rather than a quarterly basis, Interfax said Tuesday, citing a copy of the consent.

Annual schedules may conflict with existing law and could allow producers to lower taxes by shipping more oil in a month before export levies are increased, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom Neft Spending



Gazprom Neft said Tuesday that it would boost capital spending 36 percent in 2008 to meet rising production costs.

Gazprom Neft will spend 88.9 billion rubles ($3.73 billion) on capital investments in 2008, the company said. Most of this year's spending will go to supporting output. (Bloomberg)




Kadyrov Criticizes Rosneft



Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said Tuesday that the republic's oil should only be refined in Chechnya, slamming a possible Rosneft refinery in Kabardino-Balkaria, Interfax reported.

"The population of Chechnya is disturbed that Rosneft is even considering the possibility of building a refinery for its oil in another region. It's … an offense to the people of Chechnya," Kadyrov said, adding that it could lead to a "social explosion in Chechnya." (MT)




For the Record



Gazprom plans to build a pipeline from Sakhalin island to Vladivostok, said Viktor Timoshilov, the company's chief for eastern Russian projects, Interfax reported Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Ukrainian industrial production rose an annual 11.5 percent in February, led by machine building, food and chemicals, the state statistics committee said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

UBS said Tuesday that it appointed Steven Meehan as chief executive of Russia and the former Soviet Union, replacing Ed Nicholson. (Bloomberg)

Russia may block border customs stations where wood is exported to Finland, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft said Tuesday that it planned investments of more than $10 billion by the end of the decade. (AP)

Surgutneftegaz found four gas fields in eastern Siberia with reserves of 50 billion cubic meters of gas to 100 bcm each, Interfax said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)