Business in Brief

iPhone Deals Seen Soon



Mobile phone companies VimpelCom and MegaFon may sign a deal with Apple Inc. to start selling iPhones in the country this week, Vedomosti reported Monday.

As part of the agreement, Apple wants each operator to buy 1 million to 1.5 million iPhones, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people at the two companies. (Bloomberg)




Ruble Rises 0.1%



The ruble rose against the Central Bank's dollar/euro basket, snapping a two-day decline, after President Dmitry Medvedev said the country would begin pulling its troops out of Georgia on Monday.

The ruble climbed 0.1 percent to 29.7373 versus the basket by 7:28 p.m. in Moscow, from 29.7774 on Aug. 15. It gained 0.3 percent against the dollar to 24.5393, and was little changed at 36.0976 per euro. (Bloomberg)




Ingosstrakh Stake



Italy's Generali declined to comment on a Sunday Times report that Italy's biggest insurer has made on informal offer for billionaire Oleg Deripaska's stake in Ingosstrakh.

"It does not seem opportune to make any comment except to express the desire that minority shareholder rights be respected,'' a Generali official said by telephone Monday.

The Sunday Times reported that Generali and Czech billionaire Petr Kellner had offered to buy Deripaska's 62 percent stake in Ingosstrakh. Generali and Kellner together own 38 percent, the Times said. (Bloomberg)




Grain Harvest Up 38%



Russian farmers reaped 64.2 million metric tons of grain so far this season, 38 percent more than a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said Monday.

Farmers harvested 20.7 million hectares (51.2 million acres) of land, or 45 percent of the targeted area, as of today, the ministry said in a statement. The average yield is 3.11 tons a hectare, or 25 percent more than a year ago. (Bloomberg)




More Asian Grain Exports



Russia plans to boost grain exports to Asia, challenging the United States, Canada and Australia, and is seeking to ship at least 1 million metric tons of grain per year to Japan, the Agriculture Ministry said Monday.

Russia may start selling grain to Japan this season, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said Sunday in Tokyo, according to a ministry statement.

Gordeyev also discussed with Sojitz Corp. building a grain terminal in Russia's Far East, the ministry said. (Bloomberg)




Salym to Raise Capacity



Shell and Sibir Energy plan to commission a third crude processing train at their western Siberia venture in late 2009, raising production capacity by 50 percent to more than 180,000 barrels a day.

Salym Petroleum Development has begun awarding procurement and construction contracts, Sabina Yagizarova, a Shell spokeswoman for Salym, said by e-mail Monday. (Bloomberg)




Iraq Power Tenders



Iraq has invited Russian companies to bid in tenders to rebuild the country's power plants and infrastructure.

Iraqi Electricity Minister Karim Wahid and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko also agreed to set up a working group to develop power industry cooperation, the Russian Energy Ministry said Monday. (Bloomberg)