Business in Brief

Finder's Fee for Investors

The government will consider ways to compensate foreign investors that discover strategic mineral deposits that they are not allowed to develop, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said Friday.

Russian law restricts foreign investors from the exploration of key mineral deposits as the state brings strategic industries back under state control.

"According to the suggestion, the state will compensate them 100 percent of the costs spent for the works and pay a premium of either 50 percent of the costs or 50 percent of the price for the deposit's license," a ministry spokesman said. (Reuters)

New Shvartsman Funds

Oleg Shvartsman's investment company FinansGroup is planning to launch the first in a series of funds called Bankrot, or Bankrupt, in November worth a combined $500 million, the businessman said Friday, Interfax reported.

He said funds in the Bankrupt line would buy troubled assets in the public utilities, electricity and metals sectors, including those going through bankruptcy proceedings or management, and then "revitalize them, consolidate them into sector holdings and sell them on to strategic investors."

Shvartsman told Kommersant last year that FinansGroup had benefited from links to the Kremlin and that his company would lead a "velvet reprivatization" to benefit state firms, including Rosoboronexport. In May, the state arms trader successfully sued him and Kommersant for defamation. (MT)

Alrosa in Southern Congo

Diamond miner Alrosa plans exploration in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo after chief executive Sergei Vybornov visited the country.

Vybornov met President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa, the country's capital, Alrosa said Friday. Vybornov said in March that Alrosa would vie for control of African resources, including diamonds, oil and gas. (Bloomberg)

Severstal $1.5Bln Loan

LONDON -- Severstal has appointed eight banks to arrange a $1.5 billion, five-year syndicated loan, a banking source said Friday.

The mandated lead arrangers are Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe Generale. The deal pays a margin of 185 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, the source added. (Reuters)

VimpelCom Picking Banks

LONDON -- VimpelCom will appoint eight banks to arrange a $1 billion, three-year syndicated loan, banking sources close to the deal said Friday.

Barclays, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas, Calyon, Commerzbank, SMBC, Standard Bank and WestLB were expected to be appointed next week as mandated lead arrangers on the loan, subject to each bank gaining credit approval, the sources added. (Reuters)

For the Record

OGK-6, controlled by Gazprom, dropped to a record low Friday in Moscow after reporting a second-quarter loss on higher fuel prices, taxes and other costs. (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank bought stakes in UralSib after the company sought to attract strategic partners during the market decline, Vedomosti reported Friday. (Bloomberg)