X5 Offers Help to Cash-Tight Suppliers

X5 Retail Group said Wednesday that it would offer to buy inventory from suppliers that are having liquidity problems, just days after announcing that it would delay payments to those who ask to raise prices.

Russia's No. 1 supermarket company fell 30 percent in London, wiping $1.06 billion off its market value.

The grocer said it would also consider similar proposals from banks that lend to producers, suppliers and distributors and get products as collateral.

Retailers are becoming increasingly concerned about their suppliers' financial health as the credit crunch spurs banks to hoard cash and credit insurers tighten terms or revoke coverage.

Most suppliers have asked for price increases because of direct or indirect liquidity issues, Anna Kareva, head of investor relations, said Tuesday. X5 said Monday that it would delay payments to suppliers who sought higher prices.