Business in Brief

TMK Sees Profits Drop 45%



TMK, the world's second-largest pipe maker, said first-half profit dropped 45 percent as rising steel costs outpaced increased prices for its products.

Net income fell to $150.9 million, or 17 cents a share, from $276.5 million, or 32 cents, a year earlier, TMK said Thursday. Sales rose 17 percent to $2.37 billion, while the cost of sales jumped 28 percent. (Bloomberg)




Enel Renews RZD Contract



Italian power firm Enel has renewed a contract to supply Russian Railways with electricity, it said Thursday.

Enel said in a statement that it had also signed a memorandum of understanding with energy importer/exporter Inter RAO to supply power over several years at market prices. (Reuters)




Sechin Backs RusAl Bid



United Company RusAl has government support to build a mill in Venezuela, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said.

RusAl has been in talks with Venezuela for at least four years about building a mill to process 1.4 million tons a year of alumina, the mineral used to make aluminum. (Bloomberg)




MMK Suspends Investments



Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works said it suspended most investment programs because of the financial crisis.

The two priority projects to be launched in 2009, a plate mill and a color coating line, will still be completed, the steelmaker said Thursday.

The steelmaker also started talks with VTB Group about a long-term loan, the spokesman said. (Bloomberg)




Sakhalin Energy's Pipeline



Gazprom's Sakhalin Energy venture began filling an oil pipeline from Sakhalin-2 that may allow it to start year-round crude production this year.

Sakhalin Energy expects the first tanker loading at the port of Prigorodnoye by the end of 2008, said Marina Makarova, the firm's pipeline development manager. (Bloomberg)




Rostelecom Income Growth



Rostelecom expects a near tripling of revenues by 2013 as it plans to expand into new markets and boost its share of the broadband segment.

Presenting a strategy for the next five years, Rostelecom said Thursday that revenues were forecast at 160.8 billion rubles ($5.98 billion) in 2013 versus 64.6 billion rubles in 2007. (Reuters)




North-West Gets Loan



North-West Telecom secured a three-year syndicated loan of $150 million from five foreign banks.

North-West Telecom borrowed the money at an interest rate of 275 basis points above the London interbank offered rate, the company said Thursday. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Power Machines posted a first-half profit of $17.6 million compared with a $16 million loss a year earlier, it said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

United Company RusAl said it might need to pledge extra collateral on a $4.5 billion loan from the government should the value of the securities already pledged decline in value. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil asked to borrow $1.8 billion from Vneshekonombank to refinance loans, CEO Vagit Alekperov said. (Bloomberg)