Business in Brief

Pichugin in Nevzlin Case

Alexei Pichugin, the former head of Yukos security, has been transferred to Moscow to testify in the case against former Yukos shareholder Leonid Nevzlin, Interfax reported Monday.

Nevzlin, who fled to Israel in 2003, is on trial in absentia in a Moscow court on multiple murder charges dating to the late 1990s. Pichugin is serving a life sentence in the Orenburg region for the murder of Nefteyugansk Mayor Vladimir Petukhov. (MT)

5 Bids for TGK-11

Unified Energy System said Monday that it had received five bids for the government's 29 percent stake in TGK-11, UES said in an e-mailed statement Monday. It did not name the bidders.

The buyer will be announced only after a Rosneft lawsuit against TGK-11 is resolved. The state-run oil company has claimed it was denied an opportunity to vote on the regional power generator's creation in August 2007. The formation of TGK-11 led to a dilution of Rosneft's blocking stake in the utility. (MT)

Inflation at 2 1/2-Year Peak

Inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in more than 2 1/2 years in March as global food costs rose, the State Statistics Service said Monday.

The rate rose to 13.3 percent from 12.7 percent in February, the service said. It was the highest since June 2005 and exceeded the 13.2 percent median forecast of 21 economists. (Bloomberg)

Russian Helicopters IPO

Russian Helicopters, maker of 5 percent of the world's output of the aircraft, plans to sell shares to the public next year to finance expansion, CEO Andrei Shibitov said, Interfax reported Monday.

The state-run holding will be fully formed in the first quarter and the IPO will happen by the end of the year, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Coca-Cola Passes on Baikal

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling rejected the country's proposal to convert a pulp plant controlled by billionaire Oleg Deripaska that is polluting Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake, RIA-Novosti reported Monday.

Coca-Cola HBC inspected the plant at the invitation of the National Resources Ministry and decided not to convert it to produce drinking water, spokeswoman Yana Guskova said, RIA-Novosti reported. (Bloomberg)

Ford to Add 1,500 Jobs

ST. PETERSBURG -- Ford Motor said Monday that it would add 1,500 workers at a factory near St. Petersburg to boost production in the country by almost 75 percent.

Ford has begun a recruitment campaign for the plant in Vsevolozhsk, the carmaker said. The plant, which now employs 2,074, produces the Focus hatchback. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Evraz Group said Monday that it might reduce the size of a planned $2.1 billion loan after selling bonds last week. (Bloomberg)

Gas producer Novatek said Monday that profit climbed 33 percent last year as prices for the fuel rose. (Bloomberg)

Russia got the approval of the United Arab Emirates for its bid to join the WTO, Interfax said Sunday, citing a Finance Ministry official. (Bloomberg)

St. Petersburg has opened a $1.5 billion tender for a 30-year concession to operate Pulkovo Airport, a city official said Monday. (Reuters)