Business in Brief

New Markets Council



President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday created a state council for the development of financial markets.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov will head the new body, according to a presidential decree published on the Kremlin web site Monday and dated Oct. 17. Members include Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. (Bloomberg)




Stock Buys From Tuesday



New rules that allow the government to invest its oil wealth in ruble-denominated assets will come into effect Tuesday, Interfax reported.

Money in the National Welfare Fund can also be deposited in banks, including Vneshekonombank, Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin said, the news agency reported. (Bloomberg)




Retail Sales Speed Up



Retail sales growth accelerated in September more than economists forecast as incomes rose, the State Statistics Service said Monday.

Sales increased an annual 14.2 percent in September, compared with 14 percent in the previous month, the service said. (Bloomberg)




Prokhorov on TGK-4



TGK-4, controlled by Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group, needs to increase investment by as much as 44 percent through 2011, the billionaire owner said Monday.

The generator needs "additional investment of at least $400 million," taking total spending to as much as $1.3 billion, he said on his Onexim blog. He also said the group would support companies in the "most vulnerable" areas of Russia's economy. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom's Alaskan Invite



Gazprom said Monday that it was invited to explore for resources off the coast of Alaska during talks with ConocoPhillips and state officials last week.

"We received invitations for exploration work on the Alaskan continental shelf and in the near future will hold a new round of meetings and discussions," CEO Alexei Miller said, according to a transcript of an interview broadcast by state television over the weekend. (Bloomberg)




BP Mum on Morozov Talk



BP said Monday that the search for a new CEO for TNK-BP was still under way, declining to comment on reports that former Norilsk Nickel CEO Denis Morozov may be chosen.

"The selection process is going on, and we will let you know when there is something to announce," BP spokesman Vladimir Buyanov said. TNK-BP has three candidates for the role, including Morozov, The Wall Street Journal reported. (Bloomberg)




IMF-Led Iceland Deal



REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- Iceland is set to receive a $6 billion IMF-led rescue package soon, the Financial Times reported Monday.

It was not known whether Russia, which has been in talks with Iceland over a loan, would take part. (Reuters)




For the Record



Russia's unemployment rate was unchanged in September at 5.3 percent, the State Statistics Service said Monday. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil said Monday that it would reduce jet fuel prices by 9 percent, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)