Business in Brief

Exxon Sued Over Pipeline



An indigenous group in Sakhalin sued Exxon Neftegaz, operator of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project, to stop the company from using an oil pipeline that traverses their lands, the group's representative said Tuesday.

Sakhalin-1 has operated the pipeline since September 2006 to carry oil from its field off Sakhalin to the mainland.

The lawsuit, signed by 204 indigenous people, seeks to preserve the environment, said the group's representative, Vladimir Denisov, the Sakhalin.info news portal reported. (MT)




Investigation of Governor



The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service opened a criminal investigation into Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev for possible violations of anti-monopoly legislation, RIA-Novosti reported.

The governor, along with the regional administration and the local branches of the Federal Consumer Protection Service, the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Atomic Inspection and the Emergency Situations Ministry, are being investigated for shutting down Kuznetsky Cement Factory and keeping its cement from the market. The Kemerovo regional government holds that the plant was closed for environmental reasons. (MT)




State May Buy Housing



The government may buy up unfinished housing to reassure banks amid a slowdown in the building industry, said Arkady Dvorkovich, an economic aide to President Dmitry Medvedev.

The government will offer to buy unsold apartments in residential buildings that are still under construction, Dvorkovich said Tuesday.

This will guarantee that the loans taken by construction companies are repaid, he said. (Bloomberg)




Razgulyai Freezes Projects



Razgulyai has frozen several investment projects for 5 billion rubles ($190 million) because of the financial crisis, the firm's president said Tuesday.

The firm has canceled five grain elevators and upgrades of six sugar refineries, Igor Potapenko told reporters, adding that the firm was no longer considering a project of building a deep-water terminal at the Black Sea ports of Novorossiisk or Tuapse. (Reuters)




Carriers Vie for Airline Stake



VIENNA -- Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and S7 have all submitted binding bids for a stake in Austrian Airlines, a source close to the matter said Tuesday.

The binding offers filed by midday Tuesday were due to include a business plan and a deal structure and must be followed by a price offer on Friday after potential further talks in the days between, sources close to the process have said. Austria's state holding OeIAG is offering its stake of 42 percent in the airline. (Reuters)




For the Record



Gazprom proposed raising domestic prices for fuel next year by 19.6 percent for industrial purchasers and by 25 percent for residential consumers, Prime-Tass reported. (Bloomberg)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will lead a delegation to Russia and Kazakhstan next week for talks on energy cooperation and other issues, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. (AP)

Vladimir Potanin has made an offer to United Company RusAl to spin off power firm OGK-3, an electricity unit of jointly controlled Norilsk Nickel, Kommersant reported Tuesday. (Reuters)