Business in Brief

Tinkoff Credit Systems IPO Raises More Than $1Bln

Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov's consumer credit firm TCS priced its London IPO at the top of a target range, and its shares gained 5 percent on debut as investors bet on its ability to capitalize on households' growing appetite for debt.

TCS is raising more than $1 billion in the offering, which values it at $3.2 billion.

TCS Holding Group, owner of Tinkoff Credit Systems, has challenged state-controlled banks and grabbed market share in the high-margin business of consumer credit. The company, which has no branches, focuses on Russia's regions, delivering credit cards by courier.

In the six months to the end of June, TCS issued 710,000 credit cards, bringing its total number in issue to 3.5 million. The interest rate for purchases ranges from 24.9 to 45.9 percent.


Sistema Owner Interested in Uralkali Stake

Vladimir Evtushenkov, owner of Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema, is interested in a stake in potash miner Uralkali, the businessman said Tuesday.

Uralkali's unexpected pullout of a sales cartel run with a Belarussian potash producer rocked the global potash industry in July and triggered speculation that its main shareholder, Suleiman Kerimov, may be under pressure to sell his stake so the cartel can re-form.

"I am interested in Uralkali. It is quite clear that it is a question of price. Now the selling price is too high," Evtushenkov said, when asked whether he was interested in buying Kerimov's stake.

He said the current market price of Uralkali, without a premium, was a fair one.


LUKoil Finds Oil Off Sierra Leone

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Sierra Leone's government says Russia's LUKoil has completed its first exploration well off the coast of the West African nation, confirming the presence of "high-quality oil."

In a statement issued late Monday, the government congratulated LUKoil and said a full appraisal of the amount of potential oil would be completed by the end of the year.

The oil company could not immediately be reached to confirm the government's statement.

LUKoil acquired a 49 percent stake in the offshore block where the well was located in June 2011. The block is located on a basin where multiple sizable oil fields have recently been discovered.

The company also owns a 25 percent stake in a separate nearby oil block. Sierra Leone officials have said they want the country to begin producing oil by 2017.


Russian Post Compensates Woman Who Received Stones Instead of IPhone

Russia's postal service has been made to compensate a woman who shipped an iPhone 5, only to find it had been replaced by a handful of stones on the receiving end.

The mobile phone was sent from Moscow to the southern city of Rostov-on-Don in July using Russian Post's express mail service, according to the state-run Public Chamber rights watchdog.

The sender, whose name was withheld, spent three months fighting to get 30,000 rubles ($940) in compensation. The money was paid last Monday after the Public Chamber intervened.

Russian Post is investigating the incident, the watchdog said.

Russian Post, a state-owned monopoly, was ranked among the world's worst postal services last year in a study whose authors included experts from Harvard and the Paris-based EDHEC Business School.

(RIA Novosti)

Eurasia Drilling Posts 10% Revenue Increase

Oil-drilling service provider Eurasia Drilling Company announced a 9.5 percent rise in revenue to $2.6 billion in the first nine months of 2013, the company reported Tuesday.

Output was up 3.3 percent to 4.73 million meters drilled. Horizontal drilling picked up significantly, the company said, rising by 35 percent year on year. LUKoil and Rosneft accounted for 56 percent and 25 percent, respectively, of Eurasia Drilling Company's operations during the period, showing no change from a year ago.

The company, registered in 2004 to buy a group of LUKoil subsidiaries, reported an EBITDA margin of 27 percent for the first nine months of 2013, up 1.3 percent year on year. Net debt was $254 million as of Sept. 30.