Business in Brief

Shoigu Shores Up NIS Deal



BELGRADE, Serbia -- A senior Russian delegation including Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Serbia on Monday to urge it to honor a gas-and-oil deal, Serbia's government said in a statement.

Shoigu "expressed confidence" that the remaining details of the accord would be hammered out "within 60 days" from the formation of the two negotiating teams, the statement said.

"We cannot separately value any part of the agreement," Shoigu was quoted as saying later by state news agency Tanjug, apparently referring to a possible change of price for NIS, in which Russia is to buy a majority stake. "That would entail re-valuing the entire agreement." (AP)




AvtoVAZ in Kazakh Deal



AvtoVAZ said Monday that it signed a strategic partnership with Kazakh vehicle-assembly company Asia Avto and plans to buy a stake in the company next year.

"The valuation of this company is still under way at this moment," AvtoVAZ chief executive Boris Alyoshin told reporters in Aktyubinsk, Kazakhstan. (Bloomberg)




$300M Loan to Kazakhstan



AKTYUBINSK, Kazakhstan -- The Development Bank said Monday that it would extend a credit line to the Development Bank of Kazakhstan to buy goods from Russia.

The credit line of up to $300 million is for 15 years, Development Bank chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev told reporters. "It's to fund the purchase of Russian equipment." (Bloomberg)




RusAl Joint Venture in Libya



United Company RusAl said Monday that it signed a joint venture accord with Libya to explore the possibility of building a smelter and power plant in the country.

The memorandum of understanding concerns a project to build an aluminum plant with a capacity of 600,000 tons per year and a 1,500-megawatt gas-fired generator, the company said. RusAl would hold 60 percent of the project and a Libyan partner the rest. (Bloomberg)




Surgut Price Probe Dropped



The country dropped an anti-monopoly investigation into oil producer Surgutneftegaz, saying Monday that it had established that the company does not have a dominant position in the oil-products market.

An investigation found that Surgut controls less than 8 percent of the gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and fuel oil market, the watchdog said. (Bloomberg)




Budget Funds for Pipeline?



LONDON -- The Russian government is considering providing funds from the budget to expand an oil pipeline starting in eastern Siberia, a Transneft spokesman said Monday.

Ministers and officials are reviewing a financing plan to extend the link from Skovorodino, near the border with China, to the Pacific Ocean coast, Transneft spokesman Mikhail Barkov said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Norilsk Nickel is in talks with Russian Technologies on joining the Udokan copper project in Siberia, Norilsk chief executive Vladimir Strzhalkovsky said Monday, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

St. Petersburg Seaport said Monday that it was planning to spend more than 500 million euros in the next three years to shift to more profitable cargoes and almost double capacity. (Bloomberg)