Business in Brief

40% Gas Price Hike by 2011



The Economic Development and Trade Ministry said it would agree to a 40 percent increase in domestic gas prices in 2011, up from the 30 percent ceiling it had earlier proposed, Interfax reported Friday, citing an unidentified government official.

The government said in 2006 that it would bring the price that domestic industries pay for gas in line with international market prices by 2011, the news agency said. While the goal of leveling the price remains, the question of changing the time frame was being discussed, the official said. (Bloomberg)




TMK Seeks to Raise $1.3Bln



TMK, the second-largest maker of pipes for the oil and gas industry, is seeking to borrow $1.3 billion for the acquisition of U.S. pipe-making assets, a banker with knowledge of the deal said.

The one-year loan is being arranged by a group of seven banks led by ABN Amro Holding, said the banker, who declined to be identified before the deal is complete. (Bloomberg)




Coffee Brands Bought



JERUSALEM -- Israeli food and drinks maker Strauss Group said Sunday that it would buy the coffee brands of Cosant Enterprises in Russia and other former Soviet states for $93 million.

Strauss said the Chyornaya Karta and Kaffa brands would be integrated into Strauss's coffee activities in the region. It said the transaction would double Strauss's activities there to about $120 million. (Reuters)




Yushchenko Suspends Sales



KIEV -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Friday suspended the sale of four energy generating companies, saying they were "essential for the country's economy and energy safety."

Yushchenko also suspended the sale of a majority stake in Turboatom, Ukraine's biggest turbine maker, a statement on his web site said. (Bloomberg)




LUKoil to Sell U.S. Stations



LUKoil plans to sell filling stations in the United States this year while expanding in Europe and at home, where rising car sales have boosted fuel demand and prices.

LUKoil agreed to sell 162 filling stations in Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey for $138 million, the company said. The stations will continue to use the LUKoil brand. (Bloomberg)




Pharmstandard Share Sales



Pharmstandard, the country's biggest drug maker, said Friday that its majority owner won regulatory approval to sell as much as 5 percent of the company's shares abroad.

Augment Investment may sell shares to fund mergers and acquisitions, Pharmstandard said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record





Sberbank is not in talks to buy Allianz's investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort, a spokesman said Friday, denying media reports. (Bloomberg)

A Gazprom spokesman on Sunday denied reports that former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan might soon become a deputy chairman of the company's board, Interfax reported. (MT)

Gazprom said Friday that it held talks with Slovenia about the planned South Stream pipeline. (Bloomberg)

Sugar refining fell 53 percent in the year to April 9, versus a year earlier, the Sugar Producers' Union said Friday. (Bloomberg)