Business in Brief

Banks' Licenses Suspended

The Federal Service for Financial Markets suspended the securities license of Uniastrum Bank and annulled licenses held by Lider Financial.

The service suspended the Uniastrum license because of accounting violations, it said Tuesday.

The service also annulled the brokerage and other licenses of Lider, it said in a separate statement. (Bloomberg)

FAS Watching Morticians

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service created a commission to oversee competition on the mortician market, the service said on its web site Tuesday.

The service also ordered regional authorities to investigate the market and confirm that anti-monopoly legislation is being adhered to. (MT)

Foreign Car Sales Fall 15%

Foreign car sales fell 15 percent in November, declining for the first time in the past four years, the Association of European Business said.

Foreign car sales decreased to 136,554 cars last month, it said Tuesday. Sales in January through November increased 31 percent to 1.92 million cars, the statement shows. (Bloomberg)

Sechin's OPEC Plans

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin plans to attend an OPEC meeting scheduled for Dec. 17 in Algeria, Interfax cited an unidentified official in the government as saying Tuesday.

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko will accompany Sechin, it said. (Bloomberg)

Magnit Sales Up 47%

Magnit said sales advanced 47 percent in November as it opened outlets and food prices rose.

Sales rose to 12.1 billion rubles ($432 million) from 8.2 billion rubles in the same month last year, the firm said Tuesday. Magnit, which operates discount food stores, added 38 in November, raising the total to 2,477. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine Gas Talks Continue

Gazprom said it would continue talks with Ukraine on Dec. 12 after failing to reach an agreement on debt repayments.

"The debt issue is still open, as is the issue of signing a contract for 2009 gas deliveries," CEO Alexei Miller said Tuesday on Vesti-24. (Bloomberg)

VTB Loans Up 65%

VTB Group's loan portfolio expanded 65 percent from January through November of this year, CEO Andrei Kostin said, Interfax reported.

The bank had extended 2 trillion rubles ($71 billion) of loans at the end of November, from 1.2 trillion rubles at the start of the year. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Novolipetsk Steel said Tuesday that it would sell its 69.41 percent stake in Tuapse Seaport to Universal Cargo Logistics Holding. (Reuters)

Sitronics posted on Tuesday a third-quarter net loss of $25.9 million, narrower than a year ago, and pledged to cut capital spending as customers delayed investment during the financial crisis. (Reuters)

Stockmann, a Finnish department store company that runs Nike stores in Russia, will open its new Moscow outlet in February, two months later than originally planned. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil will base its budget for next year on oil prices of $45 a barrel, chief executive officer Vagit Alekperov said, Interfax reported Tuesday. (Bloomberg)