Business in Brief

Troika Plans $1Bln Fund



SINGAPORE -- Troika Dialog said Monday that it planned to raise $1 billion from an infrastructure fund and is seeking Singapore's state-owned Temasek as a return investor.

The fund will have its first closing in January 2009 and invest in Russian utilities and logistics projects such as waste management, electricity and water supply, and port terminals, Troika managing director Andrei Sharonov told reporters ahead of a Russia-Singapore business conference. (Reuters)




Nord Stream Budget Rises



Gazprom's Nord Stream unit increased its budget for building a pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany by half, citing metals prices and environmental costs.

Nord Stream shareholders approved increasing the budget to 7.4 billion euros ($11.7 billion) from 5 billion euros, spokeswoman Irina Vasilyeva said Monday. Gazprom's main partners in the venture are Germany's E.On and BASF.

The original budget was a "rough estimate" made two years ago that didn't foresee soaring metals prices and additional environmental measures, Vasilyeva said. "We've signed contracts or letters of intent with all key suppliers so we're in a better position to give a more precise estimate," she said. (Bloomberg)




Shtokman to Cost $40Bln



Gazprom expects development of its offshore Shtokman natural gas field to cost $40 billion, Interfax reported, citing Yury Komarov, head of operator Shtokman Development.

The figure is a preliminary estimate of the project's three phases and may be revised following tenders for materials, equipment and services, Interfax quoted Komarov as saying in an interview with Gazprom's corporate magazine.

The final investment decision will be made by the end of 2009, Interfax said, citing Komarov. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom Delays Oil Field



Gazprom has delayed the start of production at its Prirazlomnoye oil field until 2010 after previously planning to launch the field by early 2008.

Gazprom will invest 24.2 billion rubles ($1 billion) in Prirazlomoye through 2012, the company said in a bond prospectus dated March 26. Gazprom may spend 10.1 billion rubles developing the field this year. (Bloomberg)




Long-Distance May Rise



Federal Tariffs Service chief Sergei Novikov said the government may stop regulating rates state-controlled Rostelecom can charge for long-distance telephone calls by 2011 to ensure fair competition.

Rostelecom, Russia's dominant provider of long-distance calls, will have its prices lowered by up to 7.5 percent next year and by 6 percent in 2010 and 2011, Novikov told reporters Monday. (Bloomberg)




Lufthansa, Malev Moving



Lufthansa will move its Moscow flights to Domodedovo Airport on Tuesday to provide better connections with other Star Alliance members.

The airline will shift flights from Sheremetyevo Airport, Domodedovo spokesman Eldar Tuzmukhametov said Monday.

Malev, the Hungarian airline owned by billionaire Boris Abramovich, moved its seven weekly flights to Domodedovo from Sheremetyevo on Sunday, Domodedovo said in a statement Monday. (Bloomberg)