Business in Brief

Deripaska Suit Moves Ahead



Billionaire Oleg Deripaska can be sued in Britain by Mikhail Chernoi, an alleged former business partner, who is seeking at least $3 billion, a London court ruled Thursday.

Justice Christopher Clarke said the risks of holding the case in Russia, such as "assassination, arrest on trumped up charges, and lack of a fair trial," meant that England was a better forum. Chernoi, known in Britain as Michael Cherney, claims Deripaska owes him at least $3 billion after failing to honor an agreement concerning stakes in two aluminum companies. (Bloomberg)




Prokhorov's Polyus Post



Polyus, the country's largest gold producer, said Thursday that Onexim Group president Mikhail Prokhorov was elected chairman at the new board's first meeting.

Prokhorov, who owns around 30 percent of the miner and previously held the post, has been fighting for control of the asset with former business partner Vladimir Potanin, who also has around 30 percent, Polyus said. (MT)




Acron to Sell 10% Stake



Acron, the country's third-largest producer of nitrogen-based fertilizers, said Thursday that it would sell as much as a 10 percent stake in a public sale of shares in London to fund expansion at its Dorogobuzh plant.

The company said it would offer shares held by its Dorogobuzh unit and "certain other entities." (Bloomberg)




Ukraine Gas Transit Record



KIEV -- Ukraine's shipments of Russian natural gas to Europe rose 23 percent to a record in the first six months of the year, the country's pipeline operator said Thursday.

Russian exports transiting Ukraine rose to 65.3 billion cubic meters in January through June, from 53 bcm a year earlier, Ukrtransgaz said. (Bloomberg)




Canada Plans Arctic Claim



MADRID -- Canadian Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said Thursday that the country would voice "a very strong claim" in 2013 for Arctic shelf rights, after Russia planted a flag on the North Pole seabed last August.

The bid, which will cover an "enormous area," will be submitted under the United Nations convention, Lunn said. "Overlapping will be minimal" with other nations bordering the Arctic Ocean, he said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Polymetal said Thursday that it posted a net loss for 2007 after a decline in gold and silver output and losses on a hedging agreement. (Bloomberg)

The country may extend tax holidays for oil companies working on offshore deposits in the Black Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov said, Interfax reported Thursday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Neft will on Friday complete a $1 billion loan to repay existing debt and finance its business, one of the arrangers said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

The EU cannot let Russia's decision to raise duties on wood exports to damage the Finnish economy and is working with Finland's government to find a solution, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

The Federal Customs Service said Thursday that it placed first in a global competition among customs agencies, uncovering more than 10 million pirated items last year, Prime-Tass news agency reported. (MT)