Business in Brief

Alrosa Bids for Polyus Stake

Polyus Gold received an offer from state-owned diamond monopoly Alrosa for a 6.5 percent stake after management recommended rejecting billionaire shareholder Mikhail Prokhorov's bid.

Alrosa bid a "fair price" for the stake held by Jenington International, a wholly owned unit of the gold producer, Polyus said Thursday. Polyus gave "no assurance" about whether it would accept the offer, which expires at 6 p.m. Friday in Moscow, the statement said. (Bloomberg)

Putin Sees $22Bln for Road

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a Cabinet meeting Thursday that 522 billion rubles ($22 billion) would be allocated for the construction of a ring road in the Moscow region.

The Investment Fund will provide 65 percent of the total, Putin said. "The blueprints will be ready in 2009. Nine billion rubles [$380 million] has been set aside for drafting them," he said. Construction of the road, which will create 200,000 jobs, will be completed by 2015, he said. (MT)

Rosneft Backs ExxonMobil

Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov said Thursday that the company supported ExxonMobil, the operator of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field, in its talks to sell increased gas output in the future to the highest bidder.

Gazprom has been demanding to buy all of the project's gas to supply the country's Far East. "We must sell this gas with the maximum economic effect," Bogdanchikov said. "If Gazprom offers a good price, why not sell." (MT)

UralSib '07 Profit Falls 48%

UralSib, the country's No. 2 nonstate bank, said Thursday that 2007 profit fell 48 percent after the bank reduced the amount of "volatile" stock held in the bank's assets.

Net income dropped to 2.2 billion rubles ($92 million) last year from 4.2 million rubles in 2006 under international accounting principles, the bank said. UralSib's assets climbed 22 percent to 375 billion rubles. (Bloomberg)

Berezovsky to Amend Suit

LONDON -- Boris Berezovsky must amend a lawsuit he filed against Roman Abramovich to make it clear that he is alleging a "gross breach of trust," a London judge said Thursday.

Judge David Mackie said the change "to make it explicit they are alleging gross breach of trust" was necessary to help the trial judge understand the case. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

State Duma Deputy Vadim Varshavsky paid more than ?50 million ($97 million) for Alphasteel, the administrator for the British steel mill said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Pipe maker TMK said Thursday that it won a contract to supply 28,000 tons of pipe for the Malay-Bagtiyarlik gas pipeline in Turkmenistan. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine's PFTS Stock Exchange has agreed to acquire trading-system software from MICEX as the bourse tries to cope with a doubling of volume since the beginning of this year. (Bloomberg)

Comstar United Telesystems said Thursday that profit advanced 24 percent in the first quarter on demand fixed-line phone services in Moscow. (Bloomberg)

The country's foreign currency and gold reserves rose to a record $548.6 billion last week, the Central Bank said Thursday. (Bloomberg)