Business in Brief

$7.3Bln Loan to Sberbank



Sberbank said Thursday that it received a 200 billion ruble ($7.3 billion) subordinated loan from the Central Bank to boost liquidity.

The bank got the government financing under federal laws signed in October to support the country's financial system, the company said in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg)




Putin on Job Market Woes



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that 207,000 people in the country were working shortened weeks and that the situation might deteriorate, Interfax reported.

More than 7,500 companies have announced plans to cut staff since the start of October, Putin said. (Bloomberg)




Olympics Sponsors Sought



The Sochi Olympics organizing committee said Thursday that it has opened the bidding process for domestic sponsorships to help fund the 2014 Games.

The committee said it was seeking top-tier sponsors in six categories: metallurgy, oil, gas, banking, telecommunications and sportswear and apparel.

Invitations to bid have been sent out to industry leaders in each category, and sponsors will be granted exclusive rights to use the Sochi 2014 trademark for the next eight years. (AP)




Putin Caps Cargo Prices



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that government-regulated prices for rail cargo would not rise more than 12.4 percent on average next year, Interfax reported.

That is less than the originally planned 18.7 percent increase, Putin said. Freight prices will be raised gradually, with the Jan. 1 increase no more than 5 percent. (Bloomberg)




Pension Fund Investments



The Pension Fund may buy 35 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) of government savings bonds this month, fund chief Anton Drozdov said Thursday, Interfax reported.

The fund, created in 1990, has 250 billion rubles in "temporarily available" funds, all of which are invested in government bonds, Drozdov said. The fund also plans to deposit some funds in highly rated banks, he said, adding that a decision on deposits would be made in the near future. (Bloomberg)




Serbia Secures Russian Gas



BELGRADE -- Srbijagas, Serbia's gas utility, said Thursday that it had agreed to take delivery of 2.39 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in 2009.

The country will pay $450 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, about $45 less than now, Srbijagas director Dusan Bajatovic said. "We have secured stable supply through 2009," he added. (Bloomberg)




Technopromexport Contract



Inter RAO, controlled by state nuclear company Rosatom, awarded a 14 billion ruble ($510 million) contract to build another unit at the Kaliningrad power plant to Technopromexport.

The engineering company will complete a second unit at the plant in the exclave, Inter RAO said Thursday. The 450-megawatt unit will be built by December 2010. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Sistema said Thursday that third-quarter profit fell 56 percent on forex and derivative losses. (Bloomberg)

Wimm-Bill-Dann said Thursday that third-quarter profit fell 22 percent because of losses related to the declining ruble. (Bloomberg)