Today in Russian Business – Sept 24, 2008

OAO Gazprom climbed in Moscow trading after a newspaper said the state-run company has implemented plans to pay back 230 billion rubles ($9.2 billion) of debt by the end of the year. Gazprom, whose debt bill exceeds $50 billion, “has not suffered in the global financial crisis and is confident it will be able to fund all its projects in due course”, its chief executive was quoted as saying in business newspaper Kommersant today. That said, its capitalization almost halved to $193 billion last week with the dive in the Russian share market. Russian tycoons Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov are close to a final asset split deal involving stakes in metals giant Norilsk Nickel and gold miner Polyus. Eclipse Aviation, US maker of four-seat light private jets, said it had reached an agreement to begin assembly of the aircraft in Russia from 2010. The supervisory board of the Russian state bank Vnesheconombank, chaired by the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, had approved construction of a plant in Ulyanovsk to begin assembly of the Eclipse 500.