Business in Brief

Yevroset Quits Baltic States



Mobile phone retailer Yevroset said Wednesday that it agreed to sell its 68 stores in the Baltic states, where it had been operating for two years, because costs there had become too high.

"You have to pay for your imperial ambitions," Yevroset chairman Yevgeny Chichvarkin said in a statement. "We won't repeat this mistake. Everything that we closed … will be made up for by opening new stores in our best markets, such as the Moscow region." (MT)




Chubais Sells Off UES Chair



Anatoly Chubais sold the chair he used as Unified Energy System's chief executive for a decade for 1.6 million rubles ($68,000), Interfax reported Wednesday.

An unidentified investor bought the chair, Interfax said. Chubais will donate the money to an orphanage in the Kaluga region. (Bloomberg)




Cisco Lays $60M 'Anchor'



Cisco Systems, the world's biggest maker of computer-networking equipment, said Wednesday that it plans to invest in Russian technology companies.

Cisco said it made the "anchor investment" in a $60 million venture capital fund that will be managed by Almaz Capital Partners. It said it would target small and medium-sized technology, media and telecoms firms. (Bloomberg)




Bill to Delay Gambling Ban



State Duma Deputy Alexander Popov proposed a three-year delay to restrictions on gambling in the country, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Popov, of United Russia, submitted a bill suggesting the rules be put back until July 2012, the report said. (Bloomberg)




MySpace-MTS Partnership



News Corp.'s MySpace has entered into a partnership agreement with Mobile TeleSystems to launch a social platform for mobile Internet users, an MTS official said Wednesday.

MySpace will create an exclusive WAP-portal for subscribers of MTS Russia, who currently number more than 60 million. (Reuters)




Prokhorov Won't Take Bet



Onexim Group owner Mikhail Prokhorov said Wednesday that he would not accept Mirax Group president Sergei Polonsky's $10 million wager, as he "never bets on business or trifles," Prokhorov said Wednesday.

Last month, Kommersant reported that Prokhorov planned to buy troubled real estate firms, prompting Polonsky to challenge his fellow billionaire to complete one real estate project of not less than 100,000 square meters. (MT)




For the Record



Finnish officials said Wednesday that a plan to retaliate against increased Russian wood tariffs by taxing Russia's transit traffic did not look feasible. (Reuters)

Russian Railways said Wednesday that it raised more than 3.2 billion rubles ($140 million) by selling unneeded repair depots. (Bloomberg)

Renaissance Group said Wednesday it had hired British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's former communications adviser as its global communications director. (Reuters)

Renova said Wednesday that it sold its 7.5 percent in fertilizer maker Tolyatti Azot to UralChem. (Bloomberg)

United Aircraft Corporation plans to develop a passenger jet similar to Ilyushin's Il-86 airliner, Vedomosti reported Wednesday. (Bloomberg)