Business in Brief

Rosneft's 'Anti-Crisis' Plan

Rosneft is developing an "anti-crisis program" to keep the company's free cash flow positive in 2009, Interfax reported.

The board this month will also consider a plan to maintain capital spending at 2008 levels in the event that oil sells for $50 a barrel, CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov said. Rosneft will seek to "optimize spending" on operational expenses including transportation and its consumption of thermal and electrical energy. (Bloomberg)

Chelsea Funding Cut Down

LONDON -- Billionaire Roman Abramovich has hit the financial brake at Chelsea, chief scout Frank Arnesen said Saturday.

"The [worldwide] financial crunch has meant Roman has hit the financial brake and asked us to cut deep," Arnesen told the Guardian newspaper.

"However, we are now getting close to the time when the club can carry on without Roman's money," he added. (Reuters)

Gazprom's Pipeline Plans

Gazprom may revise its plans for the South Stream natural gas pipeline, designed to carry fuel from Russia to Europe, because of the financial crisis, Agence France-Presse reported.

The company will have to carry out "a probable revision," the news service cited Stanislav Tsygankov, head of Gazprom's international business department, as saying in Portoroz, Slovenia. (Bloomberg)

Hungary's Gas Price to Fall

Gazprom will probably cut the price it charges for the natural gas it ships to Hungary next year, Vilaggazdasag said, citing sources familiar with negotiations.

The price, which is currently $534 per cubic meter, may fall to $520 in January, $480 in April and $450 in June, where it will remain for the rest of the year, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Severstal's Blast Furnaces

Severstal closed the two remaining blast furnaces at its largest Russian steel mill as demand weakens.

"The situation in the steel market has accelerated" the planned closure at the mill in Cherepovets, Severstal said. Some of the 400 people who worked at the furnaces will be laid off, while others will be relocated, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Sedmoi's VTB Credit Line

Sedmoi Kontinent received a 2.5 billion ruble ($92.5 million) credit line from the state lender VTB Group.

Sedmoi Kontinent received the first 500 million ruble tranche of the loan as part of the government's plan to support the retail industry during the global credit crisis, it said Friday. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Gazprom Neft became the first Russian oil company to be granted access to Cuba's land and offshore deposits, Interfax reported, citing an unidentified company official. (Bloomberg)

AvtoVAZ received a one-year loan of 4 billion rubles ($150 million) from VTB Group to finance operations. (Bloomberg)

VTB Bank, the country's second-biggest lender, said trading losses reached 4.8 billion rubles ($180 million) in October because of "negative market dynamics." (Bloomberg)