Business in Brief

Grid Connection Fees



The Federal Grid Company, Russia's power distribution monopoly, said Monday that it expected connection fees for new users to "all but disappear" in 2011 as the country moves to a new tariff system.

The Regulatory Asset Base tariff will help distribution companies attract long-term private investment for new power infrastructure, deputy chief executive Alexander Chistyakov said. The company may retain a so-called last-mile connection fee that accounts for 25 percent of the current charge, he said. (Bloomberg)




SUP Buys Gazeta.ru



ST. PETERSBURG -- Russia's SUP acquired the Gazeta.ru news web site from billionaire Alisher Usmanov's Kommersant publishing house to expand its online media assets.

Kommersant received a "significant" stake in SUP, along with the right to name two members of SUP's management board, the companies said in a statement Monday. (Bloomberg)




Evraz Raided in South Africa



South African anti-monopoly regulators raided Evraz Group's local offices for evidence that the country's biggest steelmakers and merchants, including ArcelorMittal South Africa, fixed prices.

"There may be collusion between the steel manufacturers," Nompucuko Nontombana, a senior analyst at the Competition Commission, said Monday. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom Neft Eyes Iran



Gazprom Neft said Monday that it would decide whether to develop two projects in Iran in around six weeks.

The company may join in the North Azadegan oil field and another block that consists of three fields -- Shurum, Kukh-i-Rig, and Dudru -- Gazprom Neft spokeswoman Natalya Vyalkina said. (Bloomberg)




Telenor Wants Suit Halted



OSLO -- Norwegian telecoms group Telenor said Monday that it asked a U.S. federal court to halt a lawsuit brought against it in Russia by a company controlled by Alfa Group.

The $3.8 billion lawsuit was filed in a Siberian court in April by Farimex Products, a fellow shareholder in mobile operator VimpelCom. Telenor has called it groundless and asked the U.S. Federal District Court in New York to block it. (Reuters)




Polymetal's Far East Plans



Polymetal, the country's largest silver producer, said Monday that it planned to spend $219 million on a gold project in the Far East that will start output in 2010.

Albazino in the Khabarovsk region will add between 16,000 ounces and 255,000 ounces of annual gold output over 10 1/2 years, the company said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Renova Industries won European anti-monopoly approval to take control of Oerlikon, the world's largest maker of spinning machines. (Bloomberg)

Promsvyazbank has hired ABN Amro Holding, HSBC Holdings and VTB Group to manage a dollar bond sale, according to an e-mail sent to investors. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil said Monday that it planned to buy out China National Petroleum's half in a Kazakh oil venture by year's end in an effort to revive flagging output. (Bloomberg)