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Today in Russian Business

Barclays has unveiled a $745 million deal to buy Expobank, a retail and commercial bank concentrated in Moscow and St Petersburg, saying it planned to rebrand the company over time. Russia has been “hoarding gold”, and together with Qatari demands for the precious metal, has contributed to the 240% rise in its price. Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s iron and steel firm Metalloinvest has bought 3-4% of shares in metals giant Norilsk Nickel, which could help it avoid a hostile takeover by Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal. Both companies are preparing rival bids this week. Russian miner and steel maker Mechel is in talks to acquire Oriel Resources, a London-listed miner with chrome assets in Russia and Kazakhstan. Russian investment bank KIT Finance may drop plans for an initial public offering this year and instead opt to sell shares to private investors due to a slump in demand. Finnish company Fortum says it will pay up to €2.7 billion ($4.1 billion) for west Siberian power generator TGK-10, should it gain full ownership of the utility.