Business in Brief

Gazprom's Investment Plan



Gazprom's board approved a new version of its 2008 budget and investment program Wednesday with a 111.53 billion ruble ($4.82 billion) increase over the investment plan in December.

The overall investment program will be 821.66 billion rubles, Gazprom said in a statement. The board also approved a deal to purchase from DalTransGaz the 445-kilometer Sakhalin-Komsomolsk-Khabarovsk gas pipeline, Gazprom said in a separate statement. (MT)




UralSib Cuts RTS Projection



UralSib on Wednesday lowered its projection for the RTS Index, Russia's dollar-denominated stock benchmark, because of the impact of the credit crunch and the global equities rout.

The bank cut its year-end estimate for the 50-stock benchmark to 2,600 from 3,000. Investors should focus on Gazprom, fertilizer firms and the electricity industry, it said. (Bloomberg)




Polymetal H1 Revenue Up



Polymetal said Wednesday that first-half revenue rose 88 percent to $258 million on higher precious metal prices and the elimination of its hedge position on silver sales.

Polymetal, the country's top silver and third-largest gold miner, said gold production rose 20 percent year on year to 136,000 ounces in the first six months of 2008. (Reuters)




Rambler H1 Revenue Spikes



Rambler Media, the British-registered owner of the Rambler web portal, posted a 153 percent rise in first-half revenues Wednesday, helped by growth of the Internet advertising market.

Revenues rose to $52 million from $20.5 million in the same period of 2007, the company said. Like-for-like sales increased 73 percent to $35.4 million. (Reuters)




Chavez on Possible Deals



Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said a joint venture might be formed by state airline Conviasa and Ilyushin to assemble aircraft in Venezuela, according to a government statement.

Chavez also spoke with representatives from Russian Railways to discuss building factories in Venezuela to produce railroad cars, rails and locomotives, the statement said. (Bloomberg)




Ukraine-Gazprom Agree



KIEV -- Ukraine said it reached a compromise with Gazprom after the company indicated that the price of deliveries next year could double.

"We picked a pricing model and found a compromise on the concept of how to form 2009 prices," Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said Wednesday. (Bloomberg)




Usmanov in Talks for DST



Alisher Usmanov is in talks to purchase control of Digital Sky Technologies, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

DST holds stakes in social networks Odnoklassniki.ru and Vkontakte.ru, as well as popular job-hunting web sites, the report said. Details of the talks were unclear, and Usmanov's representative declined to comment, the newspaper said. (MT)




For the Record



Polyus Gold said Wednesday that it increased first-half output by 19 percent to 17.4 tons, from 14.6 tons a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

Russia flares 38 billion cubic meters of associated gas per year, a World Bank study said, almost equal to France's annual gas consumption. (Bloomberg)