Business in Brief

Georgia $1Bln War Damage

Georgia's civilian economy suffered $1 billion in damage because of Russia's invasion of the country, Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said.

Gurgenidze said the estimate was preliminary and urged foreigners to invest in his country to help repair the damage.

"We have infrastructural damage that needs to be alleviated with the help of private investments, fiscal expenditure or with the help of our friends," Gurgenidze told reporters at a briefing Wednesday at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi. He said the $1 billion estimate was based on damage to private property and the civilian economy. (Bloomberg)

Sberbank Seeks $1Bln Loan

Sberbank is seeking to raise a $1 billion loan, according to two bankers with knowledge of the transaction.

The three-year loan will pay annual interest of 85 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, according to the bankers, who declined to be identified before the deal is complete.

Syndication of the loan may start in the first half of September, they said. (Bloomberg)

Steel Tax Changes Afoot

The government is developing changes to tax and licensing rules to encourage steelmakers to focus on the domestic market, Kommersant said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told the government to draft the measures this year as part of a strategy for the steel industry to 2020, Kommersant said, citing documents from a July 24 meeting where Putin criticized Mechel over its pricing policy. (Bloomberg)

$300M KamAZ Profit

Automaker KamAZ said profit almost doubled last year as it increased production to help meet surging demand from builders and oil companies.

Net income advanced to 7.43 billion rubles ($302 million) from 3.85 billion rubles the previous year, the company said Wednesday.

Revenue climbed 37 percent to 97.2 billion rubles. (Bloomberg)

Prokhorov Eyes Soccer Club

Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said he wants to buy a stake in soccer club FC Moskva from Norilsk Nickel.

"I will discuss the possibility of becoming a shareholder with Norisk Nickel's owners," Prokhorov, a self-confessed sports fanatic, said on his personal blog Wednesday.

Prokhorov, a former chief executive of Norilsk, owns 14 percent of United Company RusAl, which in turn owns 25 percent of Norilsk. (Bloomberg)

Zinc Firm Shopping Online

Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant, producer of about 60 percent of Russia's zinc, bought raw materials for as much as 15 percent less after organizing a system of web-based tenders for suppliers.

Organizing tenders on the Internet since July has helped Chelyabinsk attract more potential suppliers, Vsevolod Geikhman, the company's chief executive, said in a statement Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

VSMPO in Pipe Talks

EastOne, owned by Ukrainian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk, is in talks to sell its stake in a titanium pipe maker to Russian partner VSMPO-Avisma, Kommersant-Ukraine reported Wednesday.

VSMPO-Avisma already holds 50.01 percent of Trubnyi Zavod VSMPO-Avisma, and EastOne the rest, Kommersant cited unidentified EastOne officials as saying. (Bloomberg)