Business in Brief

VTB Up on Kudrin Support



VTB shares rose 4.2 percent Tuesday to 8.87 kopeks as Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin recommended buying them.

The shares have lost more than one-third of their value since VTB's $8 billion initial public offering in May 2007.

"I'm not a VTB shareholder, but seeing its share performance I am starting to consider becoming one," said Kudrin, who is chairman of VTB's supervisory board. (Bloomberg)




Chevron in Tatneft Talks



Chevron has held talks with Tatneft on developing heavy-oil projects in Tatarstan, the region that holds a third of the country's bitumen resources.

Ian MacDonald, head of Chevron Neftegaz, discussed "cooperation in the sphere of heavy oil production and refining in Tatarstan" with Tatneft chief executive Shafagat Takhautdinov in Kazan on Friday, according to a statement Tuesday. (Bloomberg)




Sibur Profit Rises 4.2%



Petrochemicals firm Sibur said profit rose 4.2 percent last year on higher chemical prices.

Consolidated net income rose to 22.3 billion rubles ($946 million) in 2007 from 21.4 billion rubles a year earlier, the company said late Monday. Revenue advanced 17 percent to 142.7 billion rubles. (Bloomberg)




EU Knocks Wood Tariffs



BRUSSELS -- Russia undermined its campaign to join the World Trade Organization by increasing export tariffs on wood to about 25 percent Tuesday, a step that will harm European Union paper companies such as Stora Enso, the EU said.

"We've been very close to an agreement on this issue," said Peter Power, the European Commission's trade spokesman. "The increase in export duties will not make the situation easier." (Bloomberg)




Gazprom Eyes Belarus



Gazprom plans to build a power station in Belarus as it increases its presence in the country.

Chief executive Alexei Miller and Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko agreed to form a working group to study the project during a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, Gazprom said. (Bloomberg)




SUEK Seeks TGK-12 Nod



Siberian Coal and Energy Co. has applied for anti-monopoly approval to buy TGK-12, a generating company based in the coal-rich Kuzbass region.

The miner will have to wait two months longer than usual for a response because the proposed acquisition "may impede competition," the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said Tuesday in a statement. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



OGK-5, the power generator controlled by Italy's Enel, replaced its top management including after a board meeting Monday. (Bloomberg)

Russia will extend its seasonal duty on raw sugar imports through May at $220 a ton. (Bloomberg)

British supermarket chain Tesco is not researching Russia, nonexecutive chairman David Reid said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Troika Dialog will temporarily manage 130 billion rubles ($5.5 billion) of the state Nanotechnology Corporation investment fund, Vedomosti reported Tuesday. (Bloomberg)