Business in Brief

ARMZ to Buy Deposits



ARMZ Uranium Holding, a unit of Rosatom, will buy billionaire Vasily Anisimov's stakes in Kazakh uranium deposits that may add 7 percent to global production, the company said on its web site Tuesday.

The planned purchase of the assets of Anisimov's Effective Energy will bring a 50 percent holding in the Karatau field and a 25 percent stake in the Akbastau project, ARMZ said. No price was disclosed for the transaction. (Bloomberg)




Trutnev Warns on Mining



Russia has the power to stop foreign companies developing "strategic" deposits, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Yury Trutnev told Kinross Gold CEO Tye Burt in a meeting Tuesday, the ministry said.

"This doesn't mean the power will be exercised," Trutnev said. The minister and Burt discussed the firm's plans to develop the Kupol gold field and a venture with Polyus Gold to mine the Nezhdaninskoye deposit, the statement said. (Bloomberg)




Group Plans Chelsea Offer



MUNICH -- A group of up to eight international investors is mulling a bid for British Premier League club Chelsea, owned by Roman Abramovich, one of the investors said Tuesday.

Holger Heims, a German investment manager at Falcon Equity, said he and a group of investors including Sulaiman al-Fahim, board member of Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, which last year bought Manchester City, were preparing the bid.

A Chelsea spokesman said Tuesday that the club was aware of Heims' statements but its position was unchanged from when CEO Peter Kenyon issued a statement earlier this month, saying Chelsea is not for sale. (Reuters)




20 Banks May Need Support



As many as 20 Russian banks may need support from the country's Deposit Insurance Agency this year as lenders struggle with bad loans and debt refinancing, the agency said Tuesday.

The state agency helped 10 troubled banks find investors, took over two and bought troubled assets from three more lenders since October. It expects that 20 more may require support in 2009, agency head Alexander Turbanov said. (Bloomberg)




Exchange Rules Changed



Russia changed the rules for halting stock trading on local bourses from March 1, the Federal Financial Markets Service said Tuesday

Trade will be halted for one hour should a bourse's main equity index rise or fall 15 percent, or for the remainder of the day should the index move 25 percent. (Bloomberg)




Putin Warns Distributors



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday warned electricity distribution companies against exploiting monopoly positions, Interfax reported.

Putin instructed the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and other bodies of authority to take tough action to prevent abuses, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)




Beyrle Talks to Transneft



U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle met the head of Russia's oil pipeline operator Transneft, Nikolai Tokarev, as the company plans to open new export outlets for crude, the company said Tuesday.

Beyrle and Tokarev talked about the expansion of the Chevron-led Caspian Pipeline Consortium, linking Kazakhstan to Russia's Black Sea coast, the company said. (Bloomberg)




Kudrin Accounts for Funds



Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Tuesday that the Reserve Fund, which accumulates oil revenue, now exceeds 4.7 trillion rubles ($142 billion), RIA-Novosti reported.

The National Welfare Fund stands at more than 2.6 trillion rubles, Kudrin said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



The Central Bank sold hard currency valued at $35 billion to banks in January, Interfax reported, citing a Central Bank representative. (Bloomberg)

The budget surplus reached 1.85 trillion rubles ($56 billion) in 2008, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Tuesday, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry received more than 90 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) in receipts from subsoil resource-use rights in 2008 -- a record year, Yury Trutnev, the ministry's head, said Tuesday, Interfax reported. (MT)

Alrosa, Russia's diamond monopoly, said its Catoca venture in Angola is unlikely to resume exploration this year as the global financial crisis saps demand for gems. (Bloomberg)