Business in Brief

August Inflation at 15%

Inflation accelerated to 15 percent in August as costs of dairy, pasta and other foods rose, the State Statistics Service said Friday.

The inflation rate rose to 15 percent, compared with 14.7 percent in July, the statistics office said. The median estimate of 17 economists was for a rate of 14.9 percent. In the month, prices gained 0.4 percent, after rising 0.5 percent in July. (Bloomberg)

Mandelson on WTO Bid

BRUSSELS -- Russia should not be punished for its military action in Georgia with moves to slow its bid to join the World Trade Organization, European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said.

In contrast to comments by some U.S. officials, Mandelson said it would be wrong to ostracize Moscow. "I don't think it is in anyone's interests to keep Russia out of the WTO for a day longer than is avoidable," Mandelson said late Thursday. (Reuters)

Gazprom Picks Up Licenses

Gazprom said Saturday that it received a license to develop the Chayandinskoye oil and gas field after the Energy Ministry transferred it to Gazprom without holding an auction or tender in April.

The eastern Siberian field, also known as Chayanda, may hold 1.24 trillion cubic meters of gas and 68 million tons of crude oil and gas condensate, the company said. It also received licenses to develop the Kirinskoye and Semakovskoye fields and expects the government to award permits for seven other deposits this month, deputy CEO Alexander Ananenkov said, RIA-Novosti reported. (Bloomberg)

MTS Inks iPhone 3G Deal

Mobile TeleSystems, the country's largest wireless company, said Friday that it would sell Apple's iPhone 3G in Russia, Europe's biggest wireless market by subscribers.

Mobile TeleSystems signed an agreement with Apple to sell the phones in Russia and other CIS countries starting this year, the company said. Apple now has chosen Russia's three largest mobile-phone companies to distribute the iPhone in the country. (Bloomberg)

A New Brand of Crude

The Energy Ministry plans to create a new brand of Russian crude to fill the Transneft-operated East Siberian-Pacific Ocean pipeline, Interfax said Friday.

The crude blend will be a better quality than Urals, Deputy Energy Minister Stanislav Svetlitsky said, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Poultry Import Quota Cut?

Russia may cut poultry import quotas by 17 percent next year, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said, RIA-Novosti reported Saturday.

The country may reduce import quotas for 2009 by 200,000 tons from 1.2 million tons this year, Gordeyev said, the news agency reported. The United States accounts for 870,000 tons of this year's quota, the news service said. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Polymetal on Friday raised this year's production targets for precious metals as it increases investment in the operations. (Bloomberg)

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service proposed banning companies that control more than 35 percent of the country's proven reserves of a certain mineral from buying new deposits, Vedomosti reported Friday. (Bloomberg)