Business in Brief

Kudrin Sees $50 Oil



Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said oil prices next year would probably average $50 a barrel as the global economic decline curbs demand for the nation's biggest export product.

"This is significantly less than what is included in the budget," Kudrin said, Vesti-24 television reported. "Demand for Russian exports, oil, gas, metals and equipment, will fall significantly. We are already feeling this drop in demand in the fourth quarter." (Bloomberg)




3 Banks Get Licenses Pulled



The Central Bank said Wednesday that it was revoking the banking licenses of two more commercial banks, Mira Bank and Econatsbank, as well as canceling that of the International Bank of Solidarity.

Mira Bank and Econatsbank had their licenses revoked for "not fulfilling federal laws which govern banking activity, as well as Central Bank rules, the inability to meet creditors' demands … and make mandatory payments." (Reuters)




Banks Delay Withdrawals



About 20 commercial banks have been reported as delaying attempts by retail depositors to withdraw funds, the country's Deposit Insurance Agency said Wednesday.

Russia has about 1,200 commercial banks, and authorities have vowed to support all banks that hold a substantial number of retail deposits. (Reuters)




VEB Requests Reach $75Bln



Vneshekonombank has received requests worth $75 billion for corporate refinancing aid -- 50 percent more than the government has set aside for the purpose, its chief executive said Wednesday.

VEB chief Vladimir Dmitriyev said companies had so far asked for $44 billion in refinancing and banks for another $31 billion, Interfax reported. (Reuters)




VTB Eyeing Otkritie Stake



VTB Group may buy a stake in brokerage Otkritie for $150 million, Interfax reported.

The state-owned bank may buy about 20 percent this month with an option to buy the remainder, the Moscow-based news service reported, citing an unidentified person in the banking industry. (Bloomberg)




Uzbeks Quit Economic Bloc



Uzbekistan plans to quit a Russia-dominated economic bloc in a move emphasizing its efforts to mend relations with the West, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, a diplomatic source in Kazakhstan said Uzbekistan had already notified other member states that it was pulling out. (Reuters)




For the Record



VSMPO-Avisma is seeking a $200 million one-year loan, Interfax reported. (Reuters)

Russia's inflation in the year through Nov. 10 reached 11.8 percent as egg and poultry prices rose. (Bloomberg)

Altimo said it is the victim of espionage and "black PR" and urged Telenor's board to probe the Norwegian company's possible involvement. (Bloomberg)

Russia has dropped its 5 percent import duties for nine months on steel scrap, ingots and foundry cast iron with nickel and tin content. (Bloomberg)

Dixy Group said Wednesday that it had priced its additional issue of 26 million shares at $2 per share. (Reuters)