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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Norilsk Eyes $7Bln Loan

Norilsk Nickel will borrow as much as $7 billion to finance the acquisition of Canada's LionOre, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Societe Generale and BNP Paribas are arranging a syndicated loan, the mining company said. Norilsk will use its own cash to make up any shortfall in funding. (Bloomberg)

Norilsk Board Nominated

Vladimir Potanin, who jointly owns 54 percent of Norilsk Nickel with business partner Mikhail Prokhorov, was nominated to the company's board Wednesday.

Shareholders will vote nine directors to the board of the world's biggest nickel and palladium miner from a shortlist of 11, according to documents for the shareholder meeting posted Wednesday on the company's web site.

Prokhorov, the company's former CEO and a current board member, was not put forward as a candidate. (Bloomberg)

Rostelecom May Sell Stock

Long-distance phone company Rostelecom may issue shares and swap them for government stakes in other units of parent Svyazinvest, under one option for reorganizing the state telephone giant, Denis Askinadze, an official at the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, said Monday.

The government holds 75 percent in Svyazinvest and may contribute its holdings in the company's seven fixed-line phone subsidiaries in exchange for additional shares of Rostelecom, Askinadze said. (Bloomberg)

Miller Remains in Hospital

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, who has run the company for six years, remains in a hospital with a kidney ailment, company spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Wednesday.

No date has been set for Miller's discharge, Kupriyanov said, declining to comment further.

Deputy CEO Andrei Kruglov is running the company in Miller's absence. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft to Invest in Offshore

Rosneft plans to spend $1.2 billion on building ships to develop offshore oil fields in the country's Far East, CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov said Wednesday.

Bogdanchikov said the oil firm would require 27 ships to develop shelf deposits and that three vessels were already being built.

Speaking at a conference on maritime issues in the oil and gas sector, Bogdanchikov said 49 oil platforms had to be built to develop the country's shelf by 2020, requiring investments of $85 billion. (MT)

Lending Set to Expand

Consumer lending is likely to expand 60 percent to 65 percent this year, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing the deputy chief of banking oversight at the Central Bank.

Consumer loans will probably expand 1 1/2 times faster than overall assets of the banking industry this year, Alexei Simanovsky said Wednesday, the agency reported. (Bloomberg)

Alfa Not Seeking Stake

Alfa Group does not want to buy Sweden's stake in TeliaSonera, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing Alfa majority owner Mikhail Fridman.

Alfa "is so far not interested" in the 37.3 percent stake in TeliaSonera, Fridman told the agency. Fridman said he was not planning any talks with a Swedish government delegation that includes Finance Minister Mats Odell visiting Moscow this week, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

Mechel Plans Dividends

Mechel, a New-York listed Russian steel and coal producer, plans to pay $316 million in dividends for last year, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Mechel will pay 19.7 rubles per share, or $2.27 per American Depositary Receipt, the firm said. The dividend is in line with company policy to distribute at least half its profit, it added. (Bloomberg)

Retail Permit Rule Reformed

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry is drafting a bill that would give local governments the right to issue trading permits to retailers, Vedomosti reported Wednesday, citing a copy of the document.

Retailers now must obtain several government permits to open a store, the newspaper said, citing ministry official Andrei Klepach. (Bloomberg)

Numico Denies Buy Plans

Royal Numico, Europe's largest infant-nutrition company, said it had no plans to buy a baby-food unit of dairy producer Nutritek Group, denying a report in Kommersant on Wednesday.

"We are not interested in Nutritek," Michiel Quarles, a spokesman for Netherlands-based Numico, said Wednesday. He declined to comment further. (Bloomberg)

KazMunaiGaz Sales Grow

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- KazMunaiGaz, Kazakhstan's state-owned energy company, said its consolidated sales advanced 0.6 percent in the first five months of 2007 from a year earlier after it pumped more oil, the Astana-based company said Wednesday.

Revenue rose to 402 billion tenge ($3.3 billion) in the January-May period, the company said without giving comparative figures. (Bloomberg)

Nurbank to Change Hands

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's eldest daughter plans to take over her husband's controlling stake in Nurbank after he was charged with organizing the kidnapping of two of the bank's executives.

The Kazakh Financial Supervision Agency agreed to a request from Dariga Nazarbayeva and her son Nurali Aliyev to become the "largest shareholder" of Nurbank, the Almaty-based watchdog said in a statement posted on its web site Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Ferrexpo Faces Lawsuits

LONDON -- Ferrexpo, a Ukrainian iron-ore producer that is planning an initial public offering in London, faces lawsuits in the Ukraine, the Financial Times said Wednesday, citing the director of a law firm in the country.

Companies including Gilson Investments and Emsworth Assets want the cancellation of their 2002 decision to sell a 40 percent stake in Ferrexpo Poltava, Ferrexpo's main asset, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

Firm's Copper Output Up

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Russian Copper, the country's third-biggest producer of the metal, plans to boost output by building new facilities.

The Yekaterinburg-based company will almost double production of copper cathode, a finished form of the metal, to 300,000 tons by 2010, spokesman Alexander Khanin said Wednesday. Copper-rod output will rise to 200,000 tons, he said. (Bloomberg)