Business in Brief

Disney Coming to Russia



Walt Disney and broadcaster Media-One Holdings formed a joint venture to start a family-oriented television channel in Russia.

The media company will own 49 percent of the Disney-branded channel, it said in a statement Tuesday. Operations will start in 2009. (Bloomberg)




RBC Falls on Debt Worries



RBC Information Systems fell to a record low in Moscow on concerns over its ability to repay debt.

RBC's liquidity was reduced in comparison with its short-term debt after it adopted the "high-risk policy of parking its surplus cash in stock market and bond securities" in the third quarter, Standard & Poor's wrote on Oct. 13. (Bloomberg)




Unimilk Halts Factory Plans



Unimilk halted plans to invest $500 million in new milk plants because of higher borrowing costs, spokesman Pavel Isayev said, Interfax reported.

Unimilk had intended to build up to five factories during the next five years and will finish the construction of two in Russia, Isayev said. (Bloomberg)




Gas Prices Could be Capped



The government may allow Gazprom to raise its prices for natural gas supplies to industries and households by only 5 percent from Jan. 1, Interfax cited an unidentified official as saying.

As the Federal Tariffs Service has already approved an average increase of 25 percent for households and 19.6 percent for industries next year, it is unclear how the new rates may be applied should they be approved, the official said. (Bloomberg)




Miller in Kazakh Gas Talks



Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller held his first meeting with Kairgeldy Kabyldin, who was named CEO of Kazakhstan's state-run KazMunaiGaz in August.

The two men discussed joint energy projects, including the expansion of a natural gas pipeline from Central Asia to Russia, the company said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)




Aeroflot Passengers Up 10%



Aeroflot carried 692,100 passengers in November, 10 percent more than a year earlier, on both domestic and international service.

Traffic, or the number of passengers multiplied by the distance flown, rose 11 percent last month, it said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)




Gazprom, Rosatom Team Up



Gazprom agreed to work with state-run Rosatom to develop power sources for fields in Arctic and offshore regions far from the electricity grid.

Cooperation will focus on supplying power to the offshore Shtokman field, the Yamal Peninsula and the Far East, Gazprom said Tuesday. (Bloomberg)




State Giving RZD $1.8Bln



The government will compensate Russian Railways 50 billion rubles ($1.8 billion) for losses it will incur when the country's rail freight tariff rises 8 percent next year, CEO Vladimir Yakunin said, Interfax reported.

The state had proposed a 14 percent tariff increase. (Bloomberg)




Ukraine Talks Go Nowhere



Gazprom said the latest round of debt talks with Ukraine failed to yield "noticeable progress."

Negotiations will continue, it said Tuesday, without specifying when. (Bloomberg)