Business in Brief

Rosneft, TNK-BP Oil Swaps

Rosneft and TNK-BP clinched a rare crude swap deal Wednesday, which from September will have Rosneft sending 13 million tons of crude annually from its east Siberian Vankor field to TNK-BP's refineries in Ryazan.

TNK-BP will send crude from its enormous Siberian Samatlor field southward for the pipeline as well as to Rosneft's Angarsk refinery. (Reuters)

Norilsk Exec to Leave

The deputy CEO of Norilsk Nickel Tav Morgan said Wednesday that he had tendered his resignation days after his boss, Denis Morozov, was sacked.

"I'm leaving my post in Norilsk Nickel," Morgan said, calling his time there "a great honor." Morgan joined Norilsk in 2004 from consultancy McKinsey and was responsible for strategy and business development. (Reuters)

RusAl Boosts H1 Output

United Company RusAl, the world's top aluminum producer, said Wednesday that it produced 2.20 million tons of primary aluminum in the first half of 2008, 7.8 percent more than a year earlier.

It said intermediate product alumina output in the first half was 5.66 million tons, 1.4 percent more than was produced a year ago, RusAl said. (Reuters)

Sistema Unit's Movie Studio

Sistema Mass-Media, a unit of billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema holding company, has invested $100 million in a St. Petersburg movie studio and plans to spend another $150 million in the next three years.

"Our task is global and arrogant: to become a major" movie producer, chief executive Andrei Smirnov said Wednesday. The studio will become operational in September with capacity to make about 20 films a year. (Bloomberg)

RenCap, BNP Team Up

Renaissance Capital said in a statement Wednesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with BNP Paribas, France's biggest bank, to issue Russian equity structures through the French bank's issuance program.

The companies have closed a first equity certificate, raising $65 million for the breakup certificate of Unified Energy System, the statement said. (MT)

Gazprom May Sue Belarus

Gazprom said Wednesday that it might sue Belarus over unpaid debts.

Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Ananenkov told the head of Belarus' gas pipeline monopoly during a meeting in Moscow that Gazprom reserves the right to go to court if Belarus does not pay the debt, a statement said. (Reuters)

MMK, Alta Close Mine Deal

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, or MMK, has signed an agreement with Alta to build and supply equipment for an iron-ore mine near Ukraine.

Alta, a Czech equipment maker for the metals and power industries, signed a 200 million euro ($318 million) contract with MMK to set up a mine and processing plant at the Prioskolskoye deposit in the Belgorod region, the companies said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Potash maker Uralkali and Belarussian producer Belaruskali will make their first shipments to Sri Lanka at a record price of $1,050 per ton in the fourth quarter. (Bloomberg)

Russian businessman Vadim Novinsky will invest around $1.5 billion in a cargo port in Ukraine, Kommersant said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)