Business in Brief

Medvedev at Gazprom



President Dmitry Medvedev is scheduled to attend an annual board meeting at Gazprom, where he's still chairman, a Gazprom spokeswoman said Monday.

"We're talking about Medvedev's last word" at the company, spokeswoman Tatyana Golubovich said. Other than that, the board is not expected to veer off the set agenda, she said.

First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is widely expected to succeed Medvedev at the company. The shareholders' meeting, scheduled for June 27, is expected to approve the new chairman. (MT)




MRSK to Sell Grid Stakes



State-run MRSK Holding, which operates local power distribution networks, said Monday that it was prepared to sell controlling stakes to private investors in the next three years.

"The realization of a large-scale program [of attracting private investors] is scheduled to take place after 2010. However, we can talk about one or two pilot experiments," company deputy head Alexander Chistyakov said.

MRSK Holding runs 11 power-distribution companies that control lower-voltage distribution networks. High-voltage power lines are controlled by the Federal Grid Company, which will stay under state control. (Reuters)




RusAl May Seek Funds



United Company RusAl said Monday that it was examining launching a eurobond or securing another syndicated loan to repay half of a $4.5 billion loan this year.

"We may launch a eurobond, or syndicate another loan for around $2 billion until the end of the year. The final decision has not been made yet," a spokeswoman said. (Reuters)




Severstal Sees Profit in U.S.



Severstal, the country's largest steelmaker by output, expects a stable 15 percent profit margin at its U.S. operations within three to four years, a company official said Monday.

Severstal has acquired several underperforming U.S. assets at knockdown prices in the last few years. If its latest $1.2 billion bid for Esmark is successful, the company's U.S. steel capacity will grow to rival its Russian output.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Severstal's North American mills would average a profit margin of 15 percent on earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization in three to four years. (Reuters)




Belousov on Forum Plans



Russia will use the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to address global problems such as climate change, financial volatility and food supplies, a deputy minister said Monday.

"We understand that with the growth of Russia's economic and political possibilities, Russia's responsibility has also grown," Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov said. "If last year there was criticism, it's logical to expect something more constructive this year," Belousov said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



The European Union on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding on closer energy cooperation with Turkmenistan. (Bloomberg)

Food retailer Dixy Group said Monday that profit rose 87 percent last year as it opened stores and lured more shoppers. (Bloomberg)

Oil producer Slavneft recommended withholding a dividend for the last quarter of 2007. (Bloomberg)