Business in Brief

Gazprom Seeking $700M



Gazprom is seeking to borrow $700 million and will hold a tender to determine the lenders, Interfax reported Thursday, citing company documents.

The loan may be divided into seven parts, the news agency said. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 27, and the results will be announced Nov. 14. (Bloomberg)




IMF Sees Russian Buffers



Russia has "buffers" that should help it weather the country's worst financial crisis in a decade, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.

The country should seek "market-friendly" solutions for the financial turmoil, IMF spokesman David Hawley said. "Overall the macroeconomic situation remains strong and the country will maintain a current-account surplus even with lower oil prices." (Bloomberg)




Limestone Supplier Bought



Specialty chemicals maker Zirax said Thursday that it had agreed to buy its main limestone supplier in Russia for 400,000 euros ($575,000).

Zirax, which is listed on London's AIM market but based in Volgograd, said the acquisition cost less than its annual spending on high-quality limestone, one of the key raw materials for its calcium chloride-based products. (Reuters)




Norilsk Deputy Resigns



Norilsk Nickel first deputy chief executive Alexander Popov resigned because shareholder conflict is hampering operations, Interfax reported Thursday.

"The current situation seriously limits management's ability to make decisions and act in the interests of all shareholders," Popov said. (Bloomberg)




Troika Buys Into Ports Firm



Troika Dialog said Thursday that it had entered the Russian infrastructure market by buying a 5 percent stake in First Quantum Ports, a subsidiary of developer First Quantum, the brokerage said Thursday.

Troika, which did not give the purchase price, said it planned to increase the stake in the future. "Troika's entrance into the group will open big opportunities for financing key projects," First Quantum's Moscow representative head Andrei Kobzar said in a statement. (Reuters)




EBRD's Globaltrans Stake



ST. PETERSBURG -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said Thursday that it bought a stake in Globaltrans Investment, the country's biggest privately owned rail shipper, for $49.6 million.

The EBRD bought 10 percent of Globaltrans' Global Depositary Receipts when the company staged an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in April, the bank said. (Bloomberg)




Norilsk May Boost Buyback



Norilsk Nickel may increase the number of shares it buys back to support the stock price, chairman Vladimir Potanin told Interfax on Thursday.

Norilsk on Aug. 22 approved a plan to spend 49 billion rubles ($1.94 billion) buying back shares. (Bloomberg)




Lebedev's Aeroflot Stake



Billionaire Alexander Lebedev is ready to buy as much as 5 percent of Aeroflot, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.

Lebedev is willing to buy the airline's shares on the market through his National Reserve Bank and National Reserve Corporation, the news service said, citing the two companies. (Bloomberg)