Business in Brief

Kudrin's Newest Deputy



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appointed a sixth deputy finance minister, Oksana Sergiyenko, the government's press service said in a statement Friday.

The Finance Ministry nominated Sergiyenko, director of its long-term financial planning department, to the post Sept. 16. Sergiyenko, 34, will coordinate budget policies and long-term economic modeling and work with the Central Bank on monetary and fiscal policy, the ministry said. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin may have up to seven deputies. (Bloomberg, MT)




Russian Bonds Fall



Emerging-market bonds fell, led by losses in Venezuela and Russia, after talks stalled in the U.S. Congress over a $700 billion financial rescue package.

The extra yield that investors demand to own developing-nation debt instead of U.S. Treasuries widened 5 basis points to 3.72 percentage points in New York on Friday evening, according to JPMorgan Chase. The spread had earlier widened as much as 10 basis points, or 0.1 percent.

Russia's bonds also fell after Moody's Investors Service assigned a "negative" outlook to the country's banking system. The spread on the country's debt swelled 8 basis points to 3.01 percentage points, according to JPMorgan. (Bloomberg)




Hyundai Boosts Capacity



SEOUL, South Korea -- Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest automaker, said Friday that it would increase annual capacity at its planned factory in Russia by 50 percent to meet demand in the Europe's fastest-growing car market.

The 330 million euro ($481 million) factory, under construction since June, will be equipped to produce 150,000 vehicles per year starting 2012, compared with an initial plan of 100,000 units by 2011, Hyundai said. (Bloomberg)




MegaFon Q2 Profit Up 22%



MegaFon said Friday that its net profit for the second quarter rose 22.1 percent year on year to 10.08 billion rubles ($403 million).

Revenue increased 23.8 percent to 42.42 billion rubles from 34.27 billion rubles in the same period of 2007, under results to generally accepted accounting principles, the company said in a statement. CEO Sergei Soldatenkov attributed the growth to "an increase in number of subscribers and growth in usage of voice and value-added services," the statement said. (Reuters)




Oil Exports Via Gdansk Cut



Russia will slash its October oil exports via the Polish port of Gdansk to 128,000 tons, from 278,000 in September, a loading schedule showed Friday.

The schedule indicated that Russia was following through on a threat to shift exports away from the port. Reuters earlier this month obtained a quarterly export schedule showing that shipments via Gdansk in the final three months of the year would sink to 380,000 tons, or about one large tanker per month, instead of the 1 million to 2.3 million tons per quarter seen throughout 2006 to 2008. (Reuters)




Sistema Interest in Italy



MILAN, Italy -- Billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema conglomerate is interested in buying a stake in Telecom Italia, La Stampa newspaper reported Friday.

Sistema officials will be in Italy next week to start talks with Telecom Italia chief executive Franco Bernabe, the newspaper said. Telecom Italia, Italy's biggest phone service provider, said Thursday that its board was informed of interest from investors, while no formal proposal was received. (Bloomberg)