Business in Brief

Gazprom-Turkmen Pricing

Gazprom said Friday that it had reached an agreement with Turkmenistan on pricing principles for the country's gas imports, but gave no figure.

Gazprom, which supplies one-quarter of Europe's gas needs, imports gas from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to meet growing demand at home and abroad. It said earlier this month that its import bill for purchases from Central Asia might more than double next year. (Reuters)

MMK to Boost Spending

YEKATERINBURG -- Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, or MMK, the country's third-largest steelmaker, said Friday that it would spend $10 billion by 2013 raising output of steel and iron ore -- $2.4 billion more than earlier stated.

"It's normal when more detailed work is carried out on projects. You mustn't forget that cement, energy and wages are rising," MMK spokeswoman Yelena Azovtseva said. (Reuters)

Sberbank Q1 Profit Rises

Sberbank on Friday reported a 16.2 percent rise in first-quarter net profit but missed market expectations and its shares fell more than 7.5 percent on a rough day for the Russian market.

Sberbank first-quarter net profit came in at 31.1 billion rubles ($1.36 billion), it said Friday, below analysts' average forecast of 34.64 billion rubles. Sberbank also reported a 56 percent rise in administrative and operational ruble costs, closely watched by analysts for signs of better performance under new managers put in place by Sberbank CEO German Gref. (Reuters)

Putin Signs Over Air Stakes

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed an order including the state's stakes in Domodedovo Airlines, Krasnoyarsk Airlines and Samara Airlines in the capital of state corporation Russian Technologies, Prime-Tass news agency reported Friday.

The companies are part of the AiRUnion airline alliance. The stakes are 51 percent of Krasnoyarsk, 50 percent of Domodedovo and 46.5 percent of Samara, according to a government decree, the news agency reported. (MT)

State Corp. in Jet Fuel Talks

ST. PETERSBURG -- Russian Technologies is in talks to buy a stake in jet-fuel supplier Airport Fuel Supply Trading House, said the state corporation's deputy chief executive, Igor Zavyalov, Vedomosti reported Friday.

A merger with Russian Technologies will enable the fuel provider, known by its Russian acronym TOAP, to implement projects including starting regional airlines and creating a bourse to trade in jet fuel, said Yevgeny Ostrovsky, the supplier's owner and CEO, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Rostelecom N.Y. De-Listing?

Rostelecom, the country's biggest long-distance phone company, may de-list in New York and then list its shares in London, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing an unidentified board member.

Rostelecom may save up to $20 million per year if it switches to the London listing, the paper said. (Bloomberg)

Usmanov Said to Take Loan

Billionaire Alisher Usmanov borrowed around $1.5 billion to finance the purchase of shares in MegaFon, Vedomosti reported Friday.

Usmanov borrowed the sum from Sberbank to pay for 58.9 percent in Telecominvest, a company that holds 31.3 in MegaFon, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)