Business in Brief

Rosneft Buys Into Exchange

Rosneft said Wednesday that it bought a 10 percent stake in the country's first commodity exchange.

The exchange, to launch in St. Petersburg by the end of this year, will deal with the bulk of trade in futures contracts for Urals crude. A number of oil companies have been skeptical about the exchange, believing the market will focus on spot trading. (Reuters)

RusHydro Cuts Investment

RusHydro, the state-run firm managing the country's hydropower plants, will cut its investment program because of a sharp rise in construction costs, CEO Vyacheslav Sinyugin said Wednesday.

Among the stations that will be delayed is the Sochi small hydropower stations cascade, which will now be finished three years later, in 2012, just two years before the Sochi Olympics. (MT)

Sistema Q4 Profit Soars

Sistema, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding company, on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates as its telecoms units added customers.

Net income jumped to $466.7 million from $2.9 million a year earlier under U.S. accounting rules, the company said. Sales rose 27 percent to $4.09 billion. (Bloomberg)

Rosinter Profits on Growth

Rosinter Restaurants Holding, the franchisee for the Benihana chain, said Wednesday that profit jumped more than sevenfold last year after the company expanded and reduced costs.

Net income surged to $6 million, from $800,000 in 2006, the company said. Sales increased 23 percent to $268 million. (Bloomberg)

TNK-BP's Services Unit

TNK-BP plans to either spin off its oil field-services unit or sell shares in it after two Russian companies in the industry held IPOs last year.

"In the long term, oil service companies work better separately," TNK-BP chief operating officer Tim Summers said Wednesday. The board plans to discuss the issue at a meeting this month, he said. (Bloomberg)

Consumer Prices Forecast

Consumer prices may grow around 1 percent this month, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

That compares with inflation of 0.6 percent in May 2007, the news service said. The country's annual inflation rate will start to slow in June, Klepach added, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Gazprom Neft on Wednesday recommended a dividend of 5.4 rubles (23 cents) per share for 2007, one-third less than it paid in 2006. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft and Sibir Energy will replace the management board of the Moscow Oil Refinery after chief executive Sergei Netesanov and his team resigned Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Net capital inflow in April was $20 billion, Central Bank first deputy chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said, Interfax reported Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Nitrogen producer UralChem said Wednesday that it boosted full-year profit by 159 percent as prices for soil nutrients rose to records. (Bloomberg)

Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have created a 4.8 billion tenge ($39.8 million) equity fund to invest in the Tajik economy. (Bloomberg)