Business in Brief

Putin Names Agency Chiefs



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday named new heads for the Federal Forestry Agency and the Federal Property Management Agency.

Yury Petrov, until now head of the Federal Property Fund, was named to head the property agency, and Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexei Savinov was tapped to lead the forestry agency, according to e-mailed government statements Tuesday evening. (MT)




Gas Price Hike Delayed



The country will delay increasing gas prices for domestic consumers to the level it charges European consumers until 2014 or 2015, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said Tuesday, Interfax reported.

The increase had been planned for 2011, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)




RusAl Exec on Norilsk



Norilsk Nickel has not done enough to bolster earnings or capitalize on the wave of mining mergers and acquisitions, said United Company RusAl, which owns a 25 percent stake.

"We have not seen well-articulated organic growth plans," Artyom Volynets, RusAl's head of strategy, said Tuesday. He said a new Norilsk board should have nine members with equal representation from the three shareholder groups. He also said RusAl supported spinning off Norilsk's noncore energy assets. (Bloomberg, Reuters)




Inter RAO to Spend $8Bln



Power trader Inter RAO, which is seeking to expand into generation, plans to spend $8 billion on acquisitions through 2010, Vedomosti said Tuesday.

The trader plans to spend about $3 billion in Europe and secure assets in 14 countries, the paper said. (Bloomberg)




Sechin's 3-Day Oil Tour



Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin will spend the next three days meeting oil executives in western Siberia, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing unidentified government officials.

Sechin is scheduled to start in the oil town of Surgut, Interfax said. From Surgut, Sechin will go to Nefteyugansk, where Rosneft's largest production unit is based. He will hold meetings in Khanty-Mansiisk on Thursday and Tyumen on Friday. (Bloomberg)




Sistema-China Chip Venture



Sistema, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding company, said Tuesday that it would set up a joint company with China to make chips as it looks to cut costs and get access to the world's most populous market.

Sistema said it signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation to jointly develop and make micro-electronic chips. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos will visit Moscow next month to express concern about Russian arms sales to Venezuela and hold talks on buying similar weapons, Kommersant reported Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Integra Group said Tuesday that its loss widened last year to $45.8 million after making acquisitions. (Bloomberg)

Slavneft said Tuesday that it boosted proved oil reserves last year by 2.3 percent to 2.8 billion barrels. (Bloomberg)

Russia plans to double the amount of money it spends on international aid and may create an assistance program, Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)