Business in Brief

Polymetal Elects New Board

Polymetal said Thursday that its shareholders had elected a new board of directors after a change in ownership this summer, Interfax reported.

The company, Russia's largest silver miner, increased its board to nine members, from the previous seven, and boosted the number of independent directors to four, from two, the statement said. (MT)

Raiffeisenbank Ups Capital

Raiffeisenbank, Russia's biggest foreign lender, said Thursday that it raised its capital by 14.9 billion rubles ($596 million) to "support organic growth."

Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding, the Russian bank's parent company, bought shares at 1 million rubles each to increase the Russian bank's capital 68 percent to 36.7 billion rubles, Raiffeisen said. (Bloomberg)

VimpelCom Cuts Loan

LONDON -- VimpelCom has reduced its forthcoming three-year syndicated loan to 500 million to 600 million euros ($736 million to $884 million) from $1 billion in the wake of the financial crisis, banking sources close to the deal said Thursday.

The margin has also been increased, from 180 basis points over the London interbank offered rate to 230 basis points over the European interbank offered rate, one of the sources added. (Reuters)

Gazprom on Pipeline Access

Gazprom's management reviewed third-party access to its natural gas pipeline monopoly as the country's largest energy producer heeds Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's call to open up its network.

The board will also take up the issue, the company said. Gazprom increased the number of independent companies shipping gas through its system to 32 from six since 1998, it said. (Bloomberg)

OGK-2 Lawsuit Refiled

Gazprom has brought another case against former OGK-2 chief executive Mikhail Kuzichev to reclaim losses from a golden parachute he took when he and other executives left the company in May, Interfax reported.

The suit was filed in the Moscow City Arbitration Court on behalf of OGK-2 shareholders after Moscow Arbitration Court earlier Thursday after the plaintiff sought to clarify the terms of the suit, the report said. (MT)

Chichvarkin Questioned

Yevroset on Thursday neither confirmed nor denied that chairman and former co-owner Yevgeny Chichvarkin had been called in for questioning by investigators.

"The company is functioning normally, and the investigation does not impact in any way our operations," spokeswoman Natalya Aristova said, adding that the company would not comment on an ongoing investigation.

Vedomosti reported that Chichvarkin was questioned Wednesday by the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office about operations and management decisions at the mobile phone retailer. (MT)

Deripaska Farm Investments

Oleg Deripaska is investing at least 2.5 billion rubles ($100 million) in meat and milk production and processing in southern Russia, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Deripaska, who already runs the Kuban agricultural company in the Krasnodar region, spent 1.5 billion rubles on three farms, which will be opened Saturday, Kuban chief executive Fyodor Druzhinin said. (Bloomberg)