Business in Brief

'07 Inflation at 9.7% So Far

The country's inflation rate reached 9.7 percent in the year through Monday as meat, rice and egg prices rose, the State Statistics Services said Wednesday.

Consumer prices advanced 0.1 percent from Aug. 26 through Sept. 1, the service said on its web site. Beef prices increased 0.5 percent and rice prices rose 0.6 percent in the week. The price of eggs climbed 0.6 percent, according to the statistics office. (Bloomberg)

Renova Boosts Falcon Stake

ZURICH -- Avelar Energy Group, the Swiss energy and gas company whose main shareholder is billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's investment vehicle Renova Group, raised its stake in Falcon Oil & Gas to 16.1 percent.

Avelar agreed to acquire 7.9 percent of the outstanding shares of Falcon in a private transaction, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk on Energy Spinoff

Norilsk Nickel, the country's biggest mining company, said Wednesday that it would consider spinning off electricity assets after shareholders blocked a prior plan last year.

Management will study the proposals this week when chairman Vladimir Potanin and chief executive Vladimir Strzhalkovsky visit the company's main production site in the city of Norilsk, the company said. The board will also discuss the company's strategy and industrial safety. (Bloomberg)

Sibur, TNK-BP Up Capacity

Sibur, Gazprom's petrochemicals arm, and TNK-BP said Wednesday that they raised the processing capacity at the Nizhnevartovsk Gas Plant by 14.9 percent to 4.6 billion cubic meters per year.

The plant, which is operated by the Sibur-led Ugragazpererabotka joint venture, started a unit capable of processing an additional 700 million cubic meters per year, according to a statement. (Bloomberg)

Atomstroiexport in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev has attended a ceremony to start construction of the country's second nuclear-power station, to be built in part by Atomstroiexport.

The Belene plant will compensate for the closure of two units at the existing Kozlodui plant. State-owned NEK power utility says Belene's two 1,000-megawatt reactors will be operational by 2014. Atomstroiexport will be the main contractor, using France's Areva and Germany's Siemens as primary subcontractors. (AP)

TNK-BP Holding to Meet

TNK-BP Holding will have an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting Oct. 8, according to a statement Wednesday.

Russia's third-largest oil producer posted the information on MICEX's share depository web site. No one at TNK-BP was immediately available to confirm the meeting. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

The Central Bank is preparing regulatory changes to toughen requirements for collateral against loans, as most collateral is overvalued by 30 to 50 percent, Kommersant reported Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom earmarked more than 34.5 billion rubles ($1.37 billion) to make a mandatory offer to minority owners of TGK-1, Vedomosti reported Wednesday. (Bloomberg)