Business in Brief

FDI to Rise to $60Bln



ST. PETERSBURG -- Foreign direct investment in the country will probably rise by one-third this year to $60 billion, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said Friday.

Foreign direct investment was $45 billion last year, Nabiullina said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The State Statistics Service put foreign direct investment at $27.8 billion last year. Nabiullina did not explain the discrepancy. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom Boosts Reserves



Gazprom increased its proved and probable natural gas reserves 0.4 percent in 2007 to 20.82 trillion cubic meters, Interfax reported Friday.

Crude oil reserves fell to 286.9 million tons from 290.9 million tons, according to an audit by DeGolyer & MacNaughton, the news service reported, citing a company report. Gas condensate reserves rose to 686.1 million tons from 659 million tons, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)




Medvedev's Travel Plans



ST. PETERSBURG -- President Dmitry Medvedev will travel to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in early July, Sergei Prikhodko, an aide, said Friday.

Prikhodko said the president would visit the Azeri capital, Baku, July 3 and 4 and the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, on July 4 and 5. He said Medvedev would discuss closer cooperation on energy and agriculture in Azerbaijan. In Turkmenistan, talks will focus on energy and trade. (Bloomberg)




Vekselberg on Norilsk Assets



ST. PETERSBURG -- Norilsk Nickel should spinoff its power assets, Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of United Company RusAl, which holds a stake in the company, said Friday

Norilsk controls power generation company OGK-3 and a minority stake in TGK-14. The nickel company proposed a spinoff last year that was blocked by former shareholder and chief executive Mikhail Prokhorov. (Bloomberg)




UralChem Buys Voskresensk



UralChem, the country's second-largest nitrogen-based fertilizer producer, said Friday that it paid $358.6 million for 72 percent of Voskresensk Mineral Fertilizers to diversify into phosphate-based soil nutrients.

UralChem obtained approval from the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service on May 30 for the purchase, the closely held company said. (Bloomberg)




Khodorkovsky Early Release



Mikhail Khodorkovsky will "sooner or later" win early release, his lawyer said Friday, a day after President Dmitry Medvedev discussed the jailed billionaire's case with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Yury Shmidt, a lawyer for Khodorkovsky , is confident his client will be freed "before his prison term ends," he said in an interview with radio Ekho Moskvy. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Sistema, billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding company, said Friday that it borrowed $613.3 million from a group of banks to finance expansion in India. (Bloomberg)

Wimm-Bill-Dann, Russia's biggest dairy firm, said Friday that first-quarter profit rose 31 percent. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom said Friday that it agreed to help build a gas pipeline network in Nigeria and may work with the country to construct a link across the Sahara. (Bloomberg)