Business in Brief

Metalloinvest May Up Loan



LONDON -- Metalloinvest, the iron ore and steel company owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, is likely to increase a $1.2 billion, five-year loan by using the syndication process to raise extra funds, a banker said Thursday.

Metalloinvest is in the process of appointing a group of around 12 banks as mandated lead arrangers on the pre-export financing, which is secured on export deliveries. (Reuters)




Polyus Gold Drops 26%



Polyus Gold, the country's biggest gold producer, on Thursday fell the most since it went public two years ago after investors lost the opportunity to vote on a struggle for control.

Polyus dropped 26 percent in Moscow. The decline followed a 66 percent advance over 10 days as investors, possibly billionaire co-owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Vladimir Potanin, accumulated the stock through Wednesday, the deadline for rights to vote at the June 26 annual meeting. (Bloomberg)




Russian Alcohol to Be Sold



Leveraged buyout firm Lion Capital and Poland's Central European Distribution agreed to buy Russian Alcohol, the Russia's largest private vodka maker.

London-based Lion will acquire a majority stake from Russia's Industrial Investors group, it said Thursday, without disclosing the price. Central European will pay $156.5 million for 40 percent of Russian Alcohol, maker of Green Mark vodka, the Polish spirits company said separately. Goldman Sachs will also buy some shares in the distiller, Lion said. (Bloomberg)




Gas Summit Delay Sought



Russia wants to delay an annual summit of gas exporters, sometimes called the gas OPEC, to October from June because it has just appointed a new government, Kommersant said Thursday.

The newspaper quoted State Duma Deputy Valery Yazev, the main lobbyist of Gazprom in parliament, as saying Russia also wanted to fine-tune its position as to what goals the new organization should pursue. (Reuters)




IzhAvto Buy Seen Close



French carmaker Renault, in partnership with Japan's Nissan Motor and AvtoVAZ, is close to acquiring Russian car factory IzhAvto, Interfax reported Thursday.

"Today the decision was made for the Izhevsk automotive factory … to be acquired by that alliance," IzhAvto head Mikhail Dobyndo told Interfax, referring to Renault-Nissan and AvtoVAZ. AvtoVAZ president Boris Alyoshin confirmed the plans but said the companies had not completed the valuation of IzhAvto or agreed on a price. (Reuters)




Deutsche Bank Reshuffle



LONDON -- Deutsche Bank said Thursday that it appointed Tim Wiswell and Jack Busta to lead equity sales and trading in Russia, part of a reshuffle of senior employees in the country.

Wiswell was head of American Depository Receipt trading in Russia and Busta ran the London single-stock derivatives unit, Deutsche Bank said. Mikhail Seleznev from KB Citibank and Yaroslav Lissovolik were named co-heads of equity research. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Synergy, the country's only publicly traded distiller, said Thursday that profit rose 24 percent in 2007. (Bloomberg)

Auto-coatings maker PPG Industries said Thursday that it would build its first car-paint factory in Russia, in the Kaluga region. (Bloomberg)